By Elizabeth, a Virta patient
I’m a Native American, and diabetes is rampant in our community. We are constantly seeing the horrors of diabetes, including progressive sickness, blindness, kidney issues, amputations, and sometimes even death. It’s important to me to convey the hope for a healthier life that Virta has brought me to other Native Americans so that they can experience this lifestyle change like I did.
I’ve been married for 4 years to my husband Garry. We are both Chickasaw and we are cultural artists. Together we own a Harley Davidson motorcycle. We enjoy taking it on vacations and weekend excursions and I was very much afraid my diabetes would take that pleasure away from me.
I had so many poor checkups and high A1C results over the years I was discouraged to the point of depression. Garry had already lost a wife to cancer and I could not think what it would do to him if I couldn’t take care of myself. Virta changed my whole outlook for the future.
Last year, I was heavy and sedentary, and that put a lot of pressure on my joints. I weighed 249 pounds. I tore the meniscus in my right knee while we were on a motorcycle ride and had to have a surgical procedure. I managed to lose some weight on my own but it took a year to get down to 222 pounds. But I still felt down, and unhappy about my aches and pains. Then the Chickasaw Nation offered the Virta Treatment to employees with type 2 diabetes and I felt God had answered my prayers.
In the first six weeks, I lost 17 pounds. It may not seem like a big deal to some people but in my case that weight loss made a great difference and motivated me to lose more, improving my health and attitude toward how I live life. It wasn't just about losing weight and getting my body to repairing the damage I caused, but it was about the emotional impact that has spread to those around me. I have a totally different uplifting attitude about life, marriage, work, and the future. I was staggering from the weight of all the negatives in my life, and this is all changing rapidly.
I had my annual eye exam recently and the optometrist told me I had two tiny leaks, one in each eye caused by the sugar levels being high in my blood vessels. She said my body has the natural ability to heal those with lower glucose levels; they were like bruises that will heal quickly. I was so thankful it was not worse.
Virta has so many resources to offer, so it wasn’t hard to commit to the program. I believe our bodies were made to operate efficiently on good nutrition and it wasn’t until the science was presented by Virta in their videos, articles and instruction, and the proof in my own body that I could see the benefits of this treatment. I am currently at 205. My goal weight is 130 pounds, so I have another 75 more to lose. I have a choice and am accountable daily to make a difference in controlling my health.
After a couple days of adjusting to meal choices at home, my husband made the comment "What will I do if you get skinny and I don't?" I replied, "Love me. Cause I'm doing this." It made me see that he loved me and cared. It made me look at things differently and realize it was my insecurity with myself that caused my doubts. With that realization, I have a more stable outlook and it has made a huge difference in our relationship. I am not reading between the lines on what he really meant by his remarks and we appreciate each other more. My hope is that with the better health for both of us, we will be enjoying many more years in a blessed marriage. Each of our days are cherished and filled with happiness because we know we are doing our best.
I cannot thank Virta enough for the peace of mind and sheer joy this program has brought to me. I no longer dread going in for a checkup. I am no longer taking diabetes prescriptions. No insulin shots! There are no highs and lows in blood sugar, no shakes and confusion. This lifestyle change has not only made my physical future better—it has transformed my whole outlook on life: my emotions, relationships and compassion. I cannot thank Virta enough for creating this treatment.