CAMBRIDGE -- We are basking in the peak of summer and enjoying all of the warm-weather activities of the season. But, you may have discovered that the shorts you wore last year don't fit as well as they did in summers past. Perhaps you are sitting more at your job and are not getting in the physical activity needed to keep you trim. If we aren't mindful of our habits, those unwanted pounds can creep up on us faster than we realize. Regardless of your situation or current fitness level, there's no better time than now to transition into a healthy lifestyle and ultimately a healthier you. In addition to possibly extending the length of your life, the benefits of healthy eating habits and exercise are astronomical.

Southeastern Med is here to help you reach your positive lifestyle goals and the Group Lifestyle Balance (GLB) Program is one of the comprehensive programs made available to you. GLB provides education to help you reach a healthy balance through diet and exercise. It is designed for non-diabetic, overweight individuals age 18 and older with risk factors for type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The program includes 22 sessions, weight monitoring, healthy eating and fitness tips, and support to stay motivated.

"The accountability is so helpful to me!" said Katie Schafer, of Caldwell. "I have noticed a change in my overall energy since joining Group Lifestyle Balance and making the commitment to be healthier. The group support is great and we always encourage each other," explained Katie. Katie has lost over 25 pounds since joining GLB in January and is pleased with her results. Faye Fulper is completing her second year of the program and returned because of the benefits she received through group support and accountability. Faye has shed over 60 pounds since joining GLB in 2013 and appreciates all the tips and advice she has gained through this experience.

Marsha Stroud, of Cambridge, has been impressed with the GLB program. "Overall, it has been good because this doesn't promote fad dieting. I know I have support for the entire year through the program. I'm thinking of continuing (the program) next year because of how beneficial it has been for me," noted Marsha. Jennifer Reed, of Cambridge, exclaimed, "The program has been wonderful! I've tried for a long time to lose weight and have been unsuccessful. Since enrolling in the class, I have lost 70 pounds. I look at food and exercise completely differently now and am so glad to have had this experience. My life is completely different now and I highly recommend the program to anyone. "

The goal of GLB is to help you reduce your body weight by 7 percent and encourage you to exercise 150 minutes per week. In order to be a part of this exciting program, you must meet at least one of the following requirements: high blood pressure, pre-diabetes or history of gestational diabetes, high cholesterol or triglycerides, or overweight (body mass index at or above 25). In order to keep off excess weight in the long term, it is important that you make manageable changes that you will be able to continue for the rest of your life. When you lose weight quickly, you may gain it back overtime and potentially gain more than you originally lost. Southeastern Med's staff will work with you to make gradual changes that will last a lifetime.

The Group Lifestyle Balance program costs $40 and you are provided with items such as: pre, mid-point and post lab work; education; class binder and materials; pedometer; exerband; and Calorie King Fat and Carbohydrate Counter. In an effort to accommodate your busy schedule, Southeastern Med offers three yearly GLB groups that take place within our community.

The next GLB session starts on Tuesday, Sept. 2 from 5 to 6 p.m. at Southeastern Med's Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation facility. Registration begins on Aug. 11.

For information about this phenomenal program or to register for the upcoming GLB session, contact Debbie Stillion, Wellness Specialist at Southeastern Med, at 740-439-2946.