Sometimes, life throws the wildest curveballs at you, taking you to places you never thought you’d be. From being raised in Arizona, spending my early adulthood in Seattle, moving across the country, to now living in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, if there is one thing I have learned, it is only up to you to seize every opportunity and live.
I was fortunate to have married an amazing woman who was instrumental in teaching me this lesson. Over the course of 25 years, we spent our lives together across the country, grew our careers, became a family, and shared a love that I can only describe as being each other’s biggest fans.
In 2015, she passed away from a rare, but relentless cancer. Shortly before she died, she told me that the best way to honor her was to live my life to the fullest. She actually made me write this down on paper, which I keep with me to this day.
She was a research scientist by trade, and among the other countless roles she played in my life, she was also my go-to expert for all questions related to health and medicine. So in 2018, when my doctor told me that my A1c was 8.4% and that I had type 2 diabetes, I was at a complete loss. To make matters worse, an eye exam revealed signs of cholesterol build-up, and I realized that a chronic shoulder issue may also have been related to diabetes. I was concerned, and I no longer had my scientist wife to turn to.
I modeled my behavior after her, though, and I studied all of the research I could find on diabetes, including asking for help from a friend who has type 1 diabetes. She reviewed my diet, and said that a lot of what I ate was probably causing my high blood sugar. I was shocked, as I only ate what I considered to be healthy carbs, like oatmeal, apples, grapes, and quinoa. To learn that quinoa was not good for me might have been the biggest surprise yet.
I started searching for better ways to treat type 2 diabetes, and my Google searches led me to Virta and the trove of free information they provide. I watched the videos, read the articles, and, for the first time, understood the science behind how diabetes can be reversed. However, when it came time to pay for treatment, I felt like it was a lot of money, and I didn’t know if it would be worth the investment.
I thought hard about my late wife, her hopes for me, and I realized that I couldn’t live life fully without first finding a way to live. Virta’s science made sense. The treatment looked highly customized to me and my situation. I decided to look at it as an investment in myself and my long-term health. So I signed up, paid the fee, and took note of my baseline numbers. My fasting blood glucose at the time was 150 mg/dL, and my A1c was 7.5%.
Am I glad I did it? Was it worth it? I think my results say it best:
After just two weeks of following the Virta treatment, my fasting blood glucose dropped to around 120 mg/dL.
After four months with Virta, I had lost 11% of my weight, going from 147 pounds to 131, and my lab work came back with an A1c of 6.0%, a 1.5 point decrease.
After a year, my eyes showed no signs of cholesterol, and my shoulder is back to full mobility.
My most recent A1c result was 5.6%, meaning I have reversed my diabetes. With my weight now steady at 131 pounds, I feel strong and energetic while walking, mucking horse stalls, doing yoga, and playing pickle ball.
People often think that I must be hungry all the time, or that Virta must be difficult to sustain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Two years in and I have no intentions of stopping, mostly because it works and is easy to do. Virta-friendly foods have taught my body to use fat as energy, and eating fat keeps me full longer. In fact, I’m never ‘hangry’ anymore because food just doesn’t cause my body to swing through highs and lows due to blood sugar and energy levels. There are so many great food options available that I never get bored at mealtime.
Virta is the perfect combination of science, medical oversight, and health coaching. It’s all wrapped up in a technology platform that makes it easy and accessible. I wasn’t looking for a quick fix. I wanted ongoing expertise and accountability in order to achieve lifelong diabetes reversal. All this comes with Virta.
Virta has provided me with the education and support necessary to take ownership of my health in ways that work for me and me alone. Virta’s team and approach to monitoring health biomarkers allows the treatment to adjust to my life, my ups and downs, successes and setbacks. If my intention is to stay on Virta for the rest of my life, which it is, what good would it be if it couldn’t grow alongside me?
I am extremely proud that I chose Virta to help me honor my late wife and fulfill my promise to her. Not only did I find my way back to health, but through some kind of divine intervention, I met another widow whose wife also passed away from cancer. Because of Virta and the improvements I have seen in my health, she and I together have found a new way for love and joy, and even sorrow, to coexist.
For those considering paying for Virta out-of-pocket, know that it is one of the best investments I could have made.
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