By Lee, on Virta for 4 months
When I was diagnosed with prediabetes about 15 years ago, my doctor immediately put me on metformin. For the next 10+ years, that one pill a day, along with a moderately active lifestyle, kept my blood sugar in check. I had well-controlled A1c lab results to show for it.
My primary exercise at the time consisted of walking 2 - 5 miles a day and refereeing youth soccer, which had me running up and down the field several days out of the week, all year long. Because I was so active, and with my daily dosage of metformin, I felt like I could eat anything I wanted without worrying about consequences. It was kind of true for a while, and I did not expect anything would change.
Then a couple of things happened that literally knocked me off of my feet. In August of 2019, I suffered an injury to the nerves in my foot, which made it painful to even limp along. I was told to take at least 3 to 6 months off from refereeing to let it heal. Then the pandemic shutdown started in March of 2020 and there were no more games to referee, even if I could. My physical activity level plummeted.
All the while, I kept eating as if I were as active as ever, not being as careful as I should have been, and it finally caught up to me. This way of living—less activity, same amount of food—overcame the metformin’s ability to control my blood sugar. I had started experiencing random aches and pains, but I chalked it up to just the normal aging process. However, at an unrelated doctor’s appointment that included labwork, I discovered that my A1c was over 12%. To control this, my doctor quadrupled my metformin dosage. I was told that I would have to go on insulin if things didn’t improve, and quickly. That was my wake-up call.
I realized that I could not continue this way of living, and I began doing my own research in earnest. Along the way, I went to Western Health Advantage’s website to see what would be covered through my health insurance. That’s where I stumbled onto Virta. Virta claimed to be able to help me reverse type 2 diabetes, get off medication, control my blood sugar naturally, and lose weight, just by making changes to my diet. I already knew that I needed to do most of that anyway, so I figured I had nothing to lose in giving it a try.
The biggest difference between pre-Virta and now is that I had no idea how badly I was feeling before. I had resigned myself to living with the constant aching in my joints as just a part of getting older, but through Virta, I learned that high blood sugar was causing the swelling that was making me feel this way.
After over 4 months on Virta, I’ve stabilized my blood sugar enough to where my latest A1c result came back at 5.4%. With better blood sugar control, and the 60 pounds I’ve lost since starting on Virta, those aches and pains have all but disappeared, and I am feeling better than ever. I have the tools and knowledge to make and sustain this change, which is great.
The most valuable thing I learned on Virta is to simply trust the process. There will be days where I’m tempted to eat something that may not be the best for me, but when I weigh the pros and cons, the answer becomes obvious. I am in it for the long-haul, with my long-term health in mind as the ultimate goal. My Virta health coach Haley is always supportive and encouraging, making sure that I am making changes in a way that will last and help me stay with the treatment. She messages regularly to ask how things are going and makes notes of any benchmarks I should be aware of. She also promptly responds to questions as they come up.
My primary goal in sharing my experiences here is to help and encourage others along their own journeys toward better health. If I can help just one other person take the step and start on Virta, then I feel like I have done my job. If you are considering Virta, I would encourage you to do so seriously, and when challenges come up, stick with the process. Virta is about taking control over your own health, and to be able to do that feels better than I could have imagined.