I have always been on the heavy side, but when my mother tragically passed last year, I turned to food to provide comfort. I was eating everything and anything. That is, until I woke up in October of 2020 and the entire right side of my face was frozen in place.
At first, it just felt really strange, like it was sagging. I looked in the mirror and was horrified. My eye was droopy, and my mouth lay limp on that side. I immediately rushed to the emergency room. I didn’t feel like I had had a stroke, but I wasn’t taking any chances.
A CT scan at the hospital revealed that I had Bell’s Palsy, and I was given some medication to help with the recovery. But my short stint at the hospital quickly became an eye-opener for my current state of health. My weight had ballooned from a previous high of about 340 pounds to 384 pounds in the short time after my mother’s passing. I gave myself the goal of getting my health under control after the holidays.
When January of 2021 rolled around, I was ready to go. I started by cutting down on my favorite beverage of soda with crushed ice. From there, I tried to limit my meal portions and eat more salads. All of this lasted about two weeks before I started wondering if I could keep it up. I felt hungry all the time, which made it difficult to continue on this path. That’s when I got an email from Pima County, my employer of over 25 years, about Virta.
The emails said that Virta was being provided at no cost—a $3,000 value—and could help me reverse my type 2 diabetes, lose weight, and regain energy. I was in.
One of the first things Virta had me do is test my blood glucose and A1c. If my weight didn’t scare me, these numbers sure did. I had an A1c of 10.7% and a fasting glucose of 210 mg/dL! I couldn’t believe I had let it go this far, but I was determined to not let it get any worse. Being someone who appreciates a little tongue-in-cheek symbolism, I decided St Patrick’s Day (March 17, 2021) was the perfect day to “test my luck” on the Virta treatment.
After meeting with my Virta provider and my Virta health coach, I learned a bit more about the science behind the treatment and what to expect. To be honest, the first week after starting Virta was a little tough. Virta uses a low-carb nutrition plan to change how your body gets its energy. I knew carbs were in bread and pasta, but I had no idea they were in fruit and “fat-free” foods too. But, once I got the hang of it, making the necessary changes got easier.
I almost can’t believe the results I have seen in only 5 months on Virta. Sometimes I need to pinch myself—and now there is plenty of loose skin to pinch. My weight is down below 310 pounds and my average glucose has dropped over 80 mg/dL!
On top of healthier numbers, I feel healthier too. The Pima County campus is set up like a college, and the need to walk between buildings is not uncommon. One of the buildings is about half of a mile apart. I used to have to drive that distance, but with the increase in energy and lack of joint pain, I actually look forward to the walk!
Virta is about so much more than food. On Virta, I have learned to change my entire mindset and discover what really works for me.
To all my colleagues at Pima County, and anyone else considering Virta, I want to let you know that this is a life-changing opportunity. Give it a shot. All you have to lose is the weight, high blood sugar, and medication. I am still striving to reach my goals every day, but already, I know I have come so far. With Virta, I feel like I have truly bettered myself, and I want to help my friends better themselves, too. I know that is something that would make my family, friends, and especially Mom, proud.
Get the latest Virta updates in your inbox
Subscribe to our blog to get Virta updates, delivered directly to you.