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TOWNSEND — Another 12-week weight-loss challenge at the Townsend Public Library has come to a close, and a new one has begun.

For the recently completed challenge, first-place winner was Barbara Coburn, second-place winner was Tracy Burg, and third-place winner was Lisa Drew. Sue DeFillippo lost the most inches.

The first weight-loss challenge began in February 2012, with Townsend Recreation and the Townsend Recreational Activity Council partnering with Littleton Wellness Center. Lisa Stamm, wellness coach at Littleton Wellness Center, said, “I’m really excited to be working with everyone on setting up and achieving weight loss and health goals.”

“We’ve had great interest in continuing with a weight-loss challenge/nutrition program to help folks get ready for beach season as well as improve overall health,” said Stamm.

“The program I will be providing is a bit different in regards to accountability and topics,” she said. “We will have a weekly one-hour meeting, which includes weekly weigh-ins as well as a topic to help create new healthy life habits.

“The sessions are very interactive, with people encouraged by our team as well as your fellow participants,” she said. “We have weekly prizes and tons of information to help people be successful. We also partnered with the Library and town to offer events either free or at a discount to all the participates and their families — bike rides, exercise programs, hikes, walks, etc.”

Each 12-week weight-loss challenge begins with an evaluation and ends with final weigh-in. Each week, there is a new and relevant topic.

Stamm said, “Did you know a weight loss of 5-7 percent of body weight can improve your health and quality of life, and it may prevent weight-related health problems? We will teach you about proper nutrition and how to improve your eating habits. We will show you exactly how many calories a day your body needs, teach you about the importance of protein, how to maximize your metabolism, learn to read nutrition labels and a whole lot more. Our goal is to show you how to have a healthy energetic lifestyle.”

“We will be starting our own official Free Fit Camp,” said Stamm. “I am really looking forward to taking our program up another notch by changing the health of people, one person at a time!”

She noted that when someone encounters difficulties, encouragement comes quickly. “This is a new day, a new week,” she tells them. And the other participants are on board, all urging each other not to give up, to move forward and try again.

Each journey is highly personal, she said, everyone having his/her own individual goals and reasons for being there. And every participant is equally there for anyone who has problems during their journeys, commiserating, listening, and letting each other know that they all have had such difficulties and can relate.

“If you know of loved ones, friends, family or coworkers you think might benefit from this class, please bring them to class with you on Wednesday,” she urged. “Research has shown having a buddy during this transformation is half the battle and leads to greater success. We can all use a little extra encouragement and support to stay motivated!”

“I hate the word diet,” exclaims Lisa Stamm. “What this is all about is making healthier choices, and living a healthier lifestyle. That’s what it’s all about.”

Call the Library for information on the current and future weight-loss challenges.