When I started the Virta treatment a little over 2 years ago, I didn’t know what to expect or if this new type 2 diabetes benefit could even live up to the claims it was making. What I did know was that if Virta could really help me “reverse” my type 2 diabetes, I wanted to be the poster-person for it. I thought about how nice it would be if I could stand in front of people and say “See how well Virta worked!”
As a benefits manager for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), I reviewed all of our offered benefits, but this was the first one to really call my name. I have lived with moderately controlled type 2 diabetes for 20 years, which is most of my adult life. But recently, I felt other aspects of my health deteriorating. I was starting to experience more pain in my knees and hips than normal—and more often. I felt sluggish. And even though I knew what I should be eating to help control my blood sugar and weight, I still found myself using food for stress management.
One of the things that struck me about Virta was that it was a treatment rather than a diet.
I had tried diets in the past, but I was never successful with them. I also really liked that instead of a set of rules to follow, Virta pairs me with a health coach to design a custom plan that will work specifically for me.
The first few weeks on Virta were eye opening. Instead of just saying that it works, Virta explains how it works right up front with a series of online videos and then asks questions to make sure you understand the science. I felt like a student again, and like a student, I had to really dig in at first. But Virta also gives you time to digest the information. I think that a large part of my continued success is in large part to having that understanding of how the foods I eat affect my body and my blood sugar. And Virta provides the tools, the shopping lists, and the support to stay on top of it. I really feel like I have a team behind me.
On Virta, I can proudly say that my A1c is now below even prediabetic levels. I went from 6.7% to 5.3%!
Virta also helped me lose more than 35 pounds. But what’s more, Virta broke my cycle of unhealthy eating habits. I wasn’t always a “veggie person,” but Virta taught me how to prepare foods in such a rich and delicious way that I often forget I’m even eating veggies! One of my new favorite side dishes is cheese melted over roasted broccoli.
And while it may be a simple combination of the weight loss and an overall sense of feeling healthier, I find that on Virta my arthritis hurts less and the swelling has gone down. I feel like when I eat something higher in carbs, I can literally feel it in my joints.
When I set out on my Virta journey, I wanted to be a walking billboard for Virta. So, to my colleagues at CTCA thinking about taking that first step, I say: you just have to try it. Dive into the reading and videos and then give yourself the benefit of the doubt. I honestly surprised myself at how well I have done, and I know that you will be too when you start.
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