I’m a relationship management coordinator for Raymond James Charitable, and I spend my days helping people solve problems with their accounts. I absolutely love it, and I do think I’m good at it, but I could not seem to solve the one problem I have personally struggled with for years. I was originally diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 10 years ago, and in the decade I have lived with it, I have tried all kinds of different medications and diets, as well as a combination of both. Nothing worked for long. And recently in the last couple of years, I started feeling pain in my hips and ankles.
When it comes to my health, I want something that will keep working for the long term, which I knew I could not find in my medications.
Even though I had just switched to Ozempic, I was nervous it would stop working for me over time. I really didn’t like the idea of needing to inject insulin. I've seen what life is like on daily insulin and it scares me. But I also knew that if my most recent medication stopped working like the others had, insulin was very likely my next step.
Just before the holidays in 2020, Raymond James sent out an email announcing a new benefit for those with type 2 diabetes called Virta. Included at no cost in our existing benefits, Virta’s treatment uses food to naturally reverse type 2 diabetes rather than adding more medications to control it.
After learning more about Virta and seeing the kinds of adjustments I would have to make to my diet, the thought of cutting out carbs scared me. Sugar and carbs were like an addiction. But a key part about Virta that interested me were the health coaches who help build personalized plans and provide support along the way. When I applied, year-end holidays were mere weeks away, so I only intended to get more information and maybe give it a try in a few months.
However, by the end of my call with a Virta enrollment advisor, they got me so excited that I was ready to start my Virta journey right away.
One of the first things that surprised me was just how easy it was to build a nutrition plan that worked for me.
Virta provided food lists and meal plans that I could customize to include Virta-friendly options that I like, many of which I was already eating anyway. Furthermore, the Virta way of cooking, which adds healthy and flavorful fats, made my favorite foods like green beans and cauliflower even richer and tastier than before.
In 12 month on Virta, I have lost 45 pounds and stopped needing medications to control my blood sugar. And even though weight loss was never my goal when starting Virta, it feels incredible to no longer be considered “obese” according to the BMI guidelines. I actually feel healthier in my 50s than I have ever felt in my adult life!
I am so grateful to Virta and Raymond James for this opportunity. Food no longer controls me. My weight no longer limits me. And medications no longer rob me of my energy or my positivity. Looking back to where I was a year ago, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. And even though I think I still have some more to go, I have a “Look at me—I’m gonna live past 90!” kind of attitude now. I’m in such a better place, and Virta helped give me that!
Get the latest Virta updates in your inbox
Subscribe to our blog to get Virta updates, delivered directly to you.