Donya Currie is the editor of The Free Lance-Star's Healthy Life section and Healthy Life Virginia newsletter.

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Does your family help or hurt your fitness efforts?

For an upcoming story, I’d like to talk to people about whether their loved ones support or undermine their efforts to be healthy. This is a dicey topic, and there may be few people willing to talk publicly about how tough it is to head out to the gym when your spouse is plopped down on the couch flipping channels and eating chips — and questioning why you spend so much time/money working out.

But this is a serious issue in some people’s lives, and I’m hoping some will be willing to talk about it. I’m not just looking for complaints, though. I’m looking for success stories, too. Maybe your spouse took the lead on getting healthier, and after some initial resistance or disinterest, you made healthy changes, too. If so, I’d like to hear from you.

I’d also like to hear from fitness instructors, dietitians, doctors and others who are familiar with the role of a spouse/partner in a person’s efforts to get healthy. How hard is it for people to make changes when their loved ones eat poorly, don’t exercise and resist change? How much easier is it for people to get fit when they’re supported and encouraged at home?

If you have experiences and insights to share about how loved ones can undermine or encourage fitness efforts, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me at