As an analyst for SAIC, I am one of those people who researches everything. So when it was announced that a new treatment for type 2 diabetes called Virta would be included in our benefits at the start of 2021, I immediately got to work gathering more information. The more I learned, the more I loved the Virta approach. Unlike weight loss programs, Virta doesn’t rely on calorie counting or exercise to get results. Instead, each plan is personalized to the patient’s unique needs to help lower their A1c and help them lose weight. That sounded perfect for me!
Not only did I have type 2 diabetes with an A1c of 8.9%, but I have been fighting with my weight all of my life. I’ve tried various diets and exercise programs, but nothing worked. To make matters worse, I learned over the years that I am allergic to a wide range of foods, including beef, pork, milk, and heavy cream. Because of these dietary restrictions, standard diets haven’t worked for me, and plans where I always feel hungry simply don’t last. My weight made it difficult to stay active, and obstructive sleep apnea made getting a good night’s sleep a struggle. By the end of 2020, I was counting down the days till I could start on Virta.
Joining Virta was simple. I filled out an online form and was quickly contacted by phone. After an easy enrollment process, I was introduced to Lauren, my Virta health coach. Lauren and I hit it off immediately, as I found out she also loves research. Right away, Lauren got to work doing a ton of research to help me find Virta-friendly foods that would work with my specific food allergies. She has given me countless recipes and ideas for ways to balance my meals with proteins that work for my body and provide healthy fats for energy.
With Lauren’s help, I can now start my day with a couple of eggs and a variety of vegetables and seasoning—I can even top it off with a dollop of herbed cream cheese. Breakfast has quickly become my favorite meal of the day! Sometimes for lunch, I’ll have some cottage cheese and nuts with a drizzle of olive oil, and that keeps me full all afternoon. Lauren has shown me a way of life where I can eat in a satisfying way and not go hungry, all the while working with my allergies. Virta has really come through on the promise of a personalized plan.
It’s only been two months since I started Virta, but I have already lost 10 pounds—which is faster than any other weight loss method I’ve tried. My blood sugar readings have stabilized and are now usually never higher than 113 mg/dL. I haven’t checked my A1c yet but I expect that it will also have dropped closer to normal ranges. And my sleep apnea has already improved! For the first time in as long as I can remember, I am getting a good night’s sleep!
I am amazed at how Virta, and specifically Lauren, have been able to adapt to my unique body chemistry in order to find foods that work for me—foods that are delicious and satisfying. I am no longer controlled by always feeling hungry because I was afraid to eat. SAIC is so generous to have offered this benefit to employees. I strongly believe Virta has saved my life, and that right there is phenomenal!
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