Tips to keep your New Year's health resolutions on track

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- If your New Year's resolution to get healthy has stalled, it's not too late to start back up again. Nutritionists and fitness experts say most people abandon their resolutions because they set unrealistic goals and give up. However, there are some effective ways to stay on track that you may not have tried before.

Just a year ago, Katie Scott of Fresno needed a walker to help her get around. But now the 59-year-old proudly walks on her own into the Kaiser Permanente Clovis offices to meet with her nutrition and fitness guides who've become her friends.

At her heaviest, Katie weighed 300 pounds. After her health problems and her weight made it almost impossible to get up from a fall, she finally had the motivation to make a change.

"I used to drink 14 diet Cokes a day. A day," Katie said.

Katie goes to Kaiser's Healthy Weight Classes and learns new ways to cook, exercise and handle setbacks to her goals, but it's the group support that she says is most helpful.

"I realized I wasn't alone because I was in a group of other people, and they didn't have as much going wrong with them physically as I did, but they all each had issues and that really began to help me," Katie said.

Setting realistic goals is also a big part of the program. Kaiser registered dietician Kim Tirapelle says that's the key to success.

"Instead of saying I want to lose 100 pounds, set a goal that is going to be measurable and small that you can look at each week and that you can also measure, meaning I'm going to substitute out soda at dinner time for sparkling water; that's the one change I'm going to make this week. And then at the end of the week you can kind of go back and reassess how did I do on that?" said Tirapelle.

One way to change what you put on your plate is to make a goal of trying one new fruit or vegetable each week. Pretty soon those small changes become permanent.

Katie started with the small steps of switching out her snack of cookies and a soda to oatmeal and water. Then she started walking, beginning with just 5 minutes at a time.

"I noticed my clothes were starting to fit looser. This is out of my skinny closet from 10 years ago and it was the smallest shirt I could find," Katie said.

Once a recluse in her home because of her health, Katie now has the energy and mobility to go to her favorite place -- Yosemite -- with her husband, go on vacations, and this year take part in the holiday Jingle Bell Run in Fresno.

It's a new beginning for Katie that she's making sure will last long after the new year.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.