For 40 years, Sandy Seekins has weighed more than 200 pounds. That, she hopes, is something that will soon change.

Seekins, of Searsport, has joined the Waldo County YMCA’s Pound-A- Weigh Challenge.

“I have been very, very overweight for the last 40 years so it’s time for a big change,” Seekins said.

Her goal is to be down to 195 pounds, a loss of 61 pounds, by the end of the challenge, which will be in December. She also wants to be able to stop taking medication prescribed to her for osteoarthritis and hopes her back pain will ease up.

The Y is taking registrations for those interested in the Pound-A-Weigh Challenge until Aug. 25, and the contest begins Sept. 8.

Seekins, who first heard about the program from her doctor, was the first contestant to sign up for the challenge.

“I was getting frustrated, ’cause I couldn’t get over losing more than 18 pounds no matter what I did,” she said.

Linda Nash at New Wave Salon agreed to sponsor Seekins and helped her enroll at Curves. Colburn Shoe Store provided Seekins with a pair of sneakers to support her endeavor.

“I’m tired of carrying all this weight around,” Seekins said. “I’m in pain all the time.”

The Pound-A-Weigh Challenge is the brainchild of Jess Connor of Waldo. Connor said she has also dealt with weight problems since her teen years.

“I had a hard time to lose the weight and keep it off,” she said.

Connor began watching NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” and said she was really surprised that people who weighed 250 to 300 pounds more than her could lose the weight. So she joined The Biggest Loser Club online and lost 18 pounds in three weeks.

Connor said she then began thinking that if she knew of more local people competing for the same goals, she could learn from others and be able to stick to a plan and lose the weight.

So from there she talked to the Y staff, put a plan together and the Pound-A-Weigh Challenge was born.

The challenge will run in the same way as “The Biggest Loser” television show with participants working in teams and competing in challenges. There also will be weigh-ins. In addition, participants will receive the support, education and tools to learn how to eat healthier, make lifestyle changes and healthier choices. There will be medical professionals and personal trainers on hand to help people reach their goals.

“This is not intended to be a quick weight loss game. We want people to come and make lifestyle changes,” Connor said.

Applications can be picked up at the front desk of the Y during normal business hours and the challenge is limited to only 100 contestants. The cost is $100 for annual Y members and $150 for three-month- and non-members. A doctor’s note is also required for people to participate in the contest.

Major sponsors of the Pound-A-Weigh Challenge are Best Buy, Camden Snow Bowl and New Wave Hair Salon. Other sponsors include, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Beach Cottage Inn in Lincolnville, Ocean’s Edge Comfort Inn, licensed massage therapists Barbara Cook and Maria Gail, the Friendship sloop Amity, Geeghan’s Restaurant in Bangor, Acupuncturist Tom Jamieson, Makin’ Waves, Angler’s Restaurant and Reny’s.

Prizes will be awarded each week and in January a finale night will be held with participants showing off their results. Three grand prizes will be awarded — one for the highest percentage of weight loss, another for the highest number of pounds lost and the third prize for the person with the most participation points.

For some, however, the reward that will motivate them the most will be the amount of progress they can make toward their personal weight loss goals.

“The only prize I’m after is to lose the weight,” Seekins said.