I served in the United States Army from 1984 to 1988 as a combat medic in Texas, Missouri and Honduras.Serving others is something that's very important to me and that I'm very proud of.When I left the military, I still wanted to continue that philosophy, and my wife and I volunteer with several local organizations.
In 2016 I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was medically obese and had elevated cholesterol, and my joints felt swollen, stiff, and inflamed. I was in pain after physical activity. My energy levels were low. Whenever I was hungry, I became angry and irritable.
The diabetes diagnosis was a sobering realization that I hadn’t been living a healthy lifestyle or been making good choices regarding my diet and nutrition. So I made an appointment with a nutritionist. She said that there was no reversing diabetes: I would have it for the rest of my life and it would get progressively worse.
I spent the next 16 months following the traditional, recommended diet plan of reduced carbs, low fat, and moderate protein intake. I took my Metformin as directed. These changes weren’t difficult, but I was not happy with the results because it just didn’t seem to make things better. I still basically felt the same. The only improvement I saw was getting my blood sugar lower. The joint pain and inflammation were still present, and I still had low energy.
My doctor wanted to put me on additional medications for cholesterol and blood pressure. I refused the extra meds because I wanted to find alternatives or a better way. My diet and lifestyle got me to where I was, so I thought if I changed them, it would take me back to a better state.
My research led me to Virta, and here we are, kicking diabetes’ butt! I first joined Virta in January 2018. Since then, my A1C has gone from 8.9 to 5.4—and it had been as high as 14 during the course of my diabetes. My starting weight was 240; it's now 204. I’ve lost a couple of inches each from around my neck, chest and legs. And I’ve lost more than 4 inches off of my waist. My fasting glucose is now between 90 and 100 daily, compared to much higher numbers previously. I believe I’ve finally succeeded on Virta because of their thorough, comprehensive approach.
My daily life has improved significantly. The foods that I now enjoy are fantastic. I’ve had a big wardrobe purge, and people cannot believe how successful Virta has been for me. My physical activity has increased. And I sleep better, feel better and perform better throughout the day. While my mental clarity wasn’t degraded before, I feel my mental acuity is even better. I’m able to walk between 10,000 and 15,000 steps a day without feeling any pain, inflammation, or soreness. My life is truly amazing and awesome now compared to what it was like before joining Virta.