I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 7 years ago after I was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. Though I never had to go on any other medication besides metformin, I knew that there was much more I could do to improve my health. I just didn’t know what to specifically change–”eat less and exercise more” wasn’t that helpful.
My weight has been a persistent problem in the past, even after trying diet programs like Weight Watchers. The limitations on what I could eat simply felt too restrictive, and I didn’t have the energy to count all of my calories every day. Further, while I lost some weight on these programs, I didn’t feel like I could stick with it for long, and it didn’t improve my diabetes numbers. In fact, I never knew that type 2 diabetes could even be reversed.
Late in 2019, my employer, Trilogy Health Services, offered me the chance to join Virta, a treatment that could reverse my type 2 diabetes altogether while also helping with weight loss. I knew I had to give it a try, so I started the Virta treatment in January of 2020 with total commitment.
Virta introduced me to the idea of low-carb eating through a series of videos and resources that are a part of the onboarding process. When I met my Virta health coach, Jenna, she helped answer any questions I had specific to my conditions. By the time I started making changes to my diet, I felt very well prepared.
However, shortly after beginning the Virta treatment and unrelated to the changes I was making, I came down with an infection that lasted over a week. Even with antibiotics, my symptoms didn’t go away, so I went to the hospital and was admitted for a few days.
You might think that in the face of other health issues, I would have just given up on Virta, but the opposite turned out to be true. Virta prepared me so well for this new lifestyle that even while in the hospital, I was able to stay on my plan. Knowing I had type two diabetes, the hospital staff put me on a plan that consisted of 60 grams of carbs per meal, which is the standard, and frankly outdated, guideline. Because of what Virta taught me, I knew to eat what I could and leave the rest behind. My coach Jenna was also in constant contact to ensure that I was safe and felt supported.
It’s no wonder that I had never heard about diabetes reversal; even the hospital, knowing I had type 2 diabetes, served me meals loaded with carbs. Virta has shown me how to live this way even when it might seem easier to give in to what is convenient. While I can’t have that many carbs, there is a seemingly endless supply of other foods I could have instead, food that tastes amazing, feels satisfying, and keeps me full. Not only do I have variety, but my choices work in all areas of my life. If I’m in a hurry, as I often am, I can hit a drive-through window, pick up some fast food, and simply leave out the bun or fries. When eating at a restaurant, I know that I can apply the principles that Virta has taught me to find something I can eat and enjoy.
Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has upended our entire way of life, I have not found it any more difficult to live the Virta lifestyle. I simply make a list of Virta-friendly options, which are things that grocery stores have plenty of, like vegetables, meat, and fats, and I end up with everything I need in order to eat what works for my body.
And it does work. Just in the 4 months I’ve been on Virta, I have lost about 50 pounds. My blood sugars have gone from around 170 mg/dL to just hovering over 100 mg/dL, and my metformin dosage has been cut in half. Most importantly, I feel great. All the while, I finish all meals feeling full and satisfied, and I even have a sweet snack every now and again to top it off. Jenna gave me a great recipe for Virta-friendly hot chocolate, and it has become my new favorite treat.
Trilogy Health Services has done me such a huge favor by offering the Virta treatment to me, and I tell them all the time. After my stay at the hospital, I sent an email to my HR team telling them how Virta had stayed with me throughout that experience. Not only has eating this way become a lifestyle for me, but Virta has truly changed my life altogether.
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