I don’t think it is a stretch to say that PACCAR and Virta gave me my life back, and for that, I will be forever grateful. I have always been a big guy, but I would say I was a healthy big. In high-school I was a multi-sport athlete and used my size to dominate in wrestling (heavyweight), football, and shot put. In Iowa, where I was raised, sport was a way of life, and I loved it.
I shifted my focus in college from sports to my actual classes and then my career. Over the years, and four amazing kids later, I slowly stopped being “healthy big” and became just big. At my heaviest, about three years ago and a year before starting Virta, I weighed 365 pounds. My weight became a concern, but my doctor telling me that because my A1c had crept up above 7%, I had type 2 diabetes, was my wake up call.
When I was first diagnosed, I registered with a diabetes management program my employer offered called Livongo. But Livongo only provided free testing supplies and an app to track numbers. I was still on metformin to control my blood sugar on top of my blood pressure and fibromyalgia medications. I didn’t want to just manage my diabetes; I wanted to do what it took to not have diabetes anymore—or at least to not have to take medications to control it.
Two years ago I saw a flyer that changed my life. PACCAR was offering a new diabetes benefit called Virta, that on top of providing free testing supplies and a mobile app, it also included 1:1 access to a health coach and a way to naturally reverse type 2 diabetes. I jumped on my computer that day and looked into what “naturally reverse type 2 diabetes” means. The short answer: Virta helps you customize a low carbohydrate nutrition plan that changes how your body gets its energy—and in doing so helps you lower your A1c and lose weight without medications. I was sold.
Within 6 month on Virta, I dropped 65 pounds and got my A1c down well below even the prediabetic threshold—about 5%. I felt incredible. And any reservations I had about changing how I ate were quickly squashed. Personally, I love vegetables anyway. I could eat a salad with protein for every meal and feel great. But, with Virta, you are not limited to just plain veggies or bland proteins. Virta has so many delicious recipes and allows you to eat as much of it as it takes to get and stay full. I never felt like I was denying myself anything.
My health coach once told me that Virta is not a diet—It’s a lifestyle. At the time I thought, sure, every diet says that. But two years later, I can confirm, Virta is in fact a lifestyle, and a lifestyle that I love.
Virta keeps me accountable and provides the nudges I need to stick with it.
Personally, I like structure. I have religiously logged my weight, my A1c, and my ketones every day for somewhere around 720 days at this point. And I know that on the other end of that app is a real person who is looking at those numbers and willing to provide guidance at any time.
Beyond looking better, I feel better. I have more energy and feel like I live outdoors now. If I am not working in my yard, I am hiking and going for walks. I’ve even gotten back into weight training and cardio. Because of Virta, I have my life back. Thank you so much to PACCAR for offering this amazing benefit. I know if it wasn’t for this benefit, I would never have gotten where I am today.
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