I had been told I was “prediabetic” for years, but I never gave it much thought. I knew I had high blood pressure, which I was medicating, and higher than average cholesterol, but when my doctor handed me a brochure about eating better and exercising more to reduce my blood sugar, I thought, “well, it can’t be that bad then.” and “at least it’s not more medication.” I figured that when I applied myself, I could turn my health around pretty easily. It was just a matter of finding the right time and proper motivation.
But as the years continued to tick away, that “right” time never came. Then COVID-19 took the world by storm and pushed any motivation to go to the gym, or out in public for that matter, right out the window.
In early 2021, I finally made the long-overdue appointment with my doctor. I knew I probably didn’t improve my health much, given how little I had actually changed my routine, but I didn’t expect I would have gotten much worse. I was wrong.
“I’m afraid I have some bad news” my doctor said, “your prediabetes has now progressed to type 2 diabetes.”
My doctor told me that if I continued to eat and live the way I was, I would need medication—possibly insulin at some point. I really didn’t want that and asked what I could do to prevent this from happening. Once again, my doctor handed me a brochure about the importance of eating right.
The idea of “low-carb” living was new to me. But, to avoid insulin, I was open to giving anything a try. I guess finally, my “right” time was now.
Then, as if serendipitously, while I was scrolling through old emails at work, I stumbled upon one about Virta. It said that it could reverse type 2 diabetes using food as medicine. And, it was being provided at no cost to me as an employee of GE Healthcare. I did a little more research and decided that this was at least worth a try.
The Virta application process was painless. I filled out a short form online, shared some medical information, and shortly after was approved into the treatment. One of the first realizations I made was that Virta was not a “diet.” Virta used food in a different way, and there was a lot of science behind how and why it worked—and it did work!
I started my Virta journey weighing about 190 pounds and had an A1c of 6.7%. Now, my weight has gone down to numbers I haven’t seen since high school (150 pounds) and my latest A1c was 5.1%!
In addition to the weight loss, I find I have more energy than ever! I recently started going to the gym and am loving it. I am not looking to be a bodybuilder or anything, but with Virta’s help, I can be the best Scott I can be. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I am in my 60s and not 16, even if I might feel like I am.
Virta has taught me a few things:
1. Low-carb food does not mean bland and tasteless food. I have had so much fun experimenting with different foods and styles of cooking, including sous vide and discovering I actually like, and even look forward to, the occasional salad.
2. It does not take any longer to make healthy food options than it does to make unhealthy options. I can still make most meals in under 20 minutes—the same amount of time it takes to cook a frozen pizza.
3. Virta is a lifestyle, and taking care of yourself means more than just food choices.
One more thing Virta gave me is a hope for my future that I didn’t have before. My mom only lived to be 80, and that is more than most of my family. Before Virta, I had no idea what to expect for my future, but now I feel like I will live beyond my 80s, and live well.
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