By Beverly, EWTF Local 26 member in Washington D.C.
I have suffered from type 2 diabetes for many years now, and it has only gotten worse as time went on. I tried seeing a dietician, but my insurance wouldn’t cover it. A diabetes specialist made it seem like medications were the only solution. Countless other doctors I saw also prescribed medication in order to try and “fix the problem.” But those prescriptions, including metformin and glimepiride, didn’t always work that well. They even caused low blood sugar episodes, which felt scarier than just letting my blood sugar run high.
I read a little bit about the benefits of cutting carbs from my diet, but I didn’t know how to really do it effectively. In general, it just felt like I was missing some important pieces of the puzzle to my health.
Without a better answer, I just continued down this path: taking more medication, suffering moments of low blood sugar, and never getting a true handle on my diabetes. Over the years, I would sometimes get better, but often got worse. All the while, I knew of the damage this yo-yo effect was having. My labs were starting to show bad kidney levels and that I was at risk for fatty liver disease. This was no way to live.
It was around this time that I got an email from the Electrical Welfare Trust Fund (EWTF) who currently covers my insurance; I am an electrician by trade. They described Virta as a way for me to reverse my type 2 diabetes—meaning I can naturally control my blood sugar without medications and lose weight in the process. Just the possibility that I could control diabetes through the foods I eat seemed like the better path for me. The more I read about Virta, the more I realized that not only was this the right path, but it was one I needed to take immediately. So I shrugged off all hesitation and jumped in with both feet.
Turns out, Virta was the missing puzzle piece I needed. Not only did Virta show me how to cut carbs, but I learned how to cut the right carbs, eat the right portions, and add the right things to my food to feel full and satisfied with every meal. The results came so quickly that I knew in my bones that my body was meant for this lifestyle.
I truly do think of the Virta treatment as a lifestyle. Diets haven’t worked for me as I’ve gotten older; weight just seems more stubborn nowadays. But with Virta, the weight has been coming off at a good pace. I started Virta weighing 238 pounds, but just 2 months later, my current weight is down to 193. That’s 45 pounds! All the while, I’ve been enjoying all the foods that are available to me as part of my Virta plan. What used to seem impossible is clearly doable with Virta, and for anyone who thinks that they can’t go on a diet, it’s OK. Like I said, this is not a diet, but a truly sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle.
Best of all, I’ve stopped needing all diabetes medications, and I don’t worry about low blood sugar anymore. With the way Virta has trained my body to use fat for energy, I can go longer periods of time without eating while still feeling high energy with no hunger crashes. My average fasting blood sugar is now in the 70s or 80s mg/dL, and I never feel the shakes like I used to.
To those thinking of starting the Virta journey toward a more healthy you, all I can say is to just jump in. Give it 30 days—I believe most of us can do anything we set our minds to for 30 days, and I just know that if you do, you will be sold on what Virta can do for you. I am active in the Virta online patient community, and I see so many others posting the same thing, seeing the same results, and feeling the same kind of excitement I do to be reaching their health goals. It makes no difference how serious your diabetes may have progressed; there can be improvements in your future with Virta.
Thank you, EWTF, and a huge thanks to everyone in the Virta care team, from the doctors to the coaches to the patients in the community. Thanks to everyone involved in allowing the EWTF to offer this great program. It has given me my health back!
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