There's the old line about your environment. "If you live in it, you become it". One of the hardest things about making a major change in your lifestyle is how it affects the relationships between you and those around you. I can tell you that from my personal experiences, I used to know a number of people who unfortunately abused substances on a regular basis, When I decided to change my life and pursue the fitness lifestyle, I had to make a very difficult choice. The fact is that although I loved my friends very dearly and we had been through some great times together, I knew there was no way it could continue if they were going to keep living that kind of lifestyle. It was very painful to walk away from them, but that's exactly what I did! I knew I really had no choice if I wanted to transform my body AND my life.
Recently I've been able to reconnect with some friends I had back then and thankfully they did eventually see the light and are living much better, healthier, and more responsibly now. The really amazing thing is that even though I haven't spoken to some of these people in well over 20 years, it's as if we never lost touch! I can't tell you how much this touches me! It shows how close we truly are and what kind of a bond we have. If someone is truly your friend, he or she will understand that you may have to go your own way, and they will reconnect with you in the future.
My wife Grace had similar experience with a friend from her youth. She had to walk away from the friendship. Unfortunately due to his lifestyle he contracted HIV and had lived with it for many years. He passed away about a month before my daughter was born which was very devastating for Grace. However, 2 years before he died, they reconnected and it was very similar to my friends. They just picked up where they left off! I was glad to have met him a number of times as well and we really hit it off!
So in closing, I'd like to say that although it may be painful to walk away from friends and family who don't fit in with your new lifestyle changes, it's necessary. If they truly are your friends and they care about you, they'll understand. If they don't, then they're not worth having around in the first place! Your health, happiness, and balance MUST take priority!
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