Progress, not perfection, has helped Natalie lose 50 pounds and reverse type 2 diabetes
By Natalie, on Virta for 8 months
Everyone’s Virta journey is different—from how people discover Virta’s type 2 diabetes reversal to the treatment itself. Mine started similarly to others, I imagine, with an email from my husband’s health plan, the Electrical Welfare Trust Fund, about Virta and how it was at no additional cost and could help with type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and weight loss. It caught my attention because at a recent doctor’s appointment in February 2021, I was told that my fasting blood sugar was high, somewhere around 110 mg/dL, and it was something I needed to watch.
So I applied, and through the process, Virta confirmed that I did indeed have prediabetes. After I joined and got my free welcome kit in the mail, I had every intention of sticking to it, of following the advice of my Virta health coach, and learning how to better control my blood sugar. Yet, here is where my Virta story might take a bit of a different turn than others.
For the first few months, I didn’t really follow the plan. I didn’t take the time to understand why I was being asked to do some of the things that my Virta coach advised, and life was busy. For example, my husband and I would take weekend road trips to visit our son who lived a few hours away, and it was just easier to pick up whatever food was convenient along the way without worrying about how it fit into my Virta plan.
A few months later at a follow-up visit with my primary doctor, my blood sugar had increased almost 30 points, to around 140 mg/dL, and my A1c was 6.9%. At that point, I was scared. I messaged my Virta coach, Naomi, to let her know what was happening. I fully expected to be lectured about not following the treatment or blamed for letting myself get here, but instead, Naomi simply said, “I can help you with this.” That’s all. At that very moment, I felt like she wrapped her arms around me and took my hand.
From there, she helped me truly understand my body and why it reacts to certain foods and carbs in the way that it does. One of the greatest things I’ve learned through Virta is how to think about food and how to really understand why the things I choose to eat affect me in the way that they do. With this understanding comes making changes, of course, but I can honestly say that adopting the Virta lifestyle is one of the easiest changes I’ve ever made. Meals have never been more satisfying, and it blows my mind how good I feel just by eating this way.
And the support I get from my family and friends has been so helpful. I post a regular series on my Facebook page called, “What’s For Dinner Tonight?” and I use that opportunity to show off all the amazing meals I’m eating. I thought friends would get tired of seeing them, but they’re often asking me for the recipes! And while shopping for food, my husband would sometimes ask me, “Can you have this?” and even I’m surprised at how often I am able to say, “Yes, absolutely!”
Thanks to Virta, and thanks to Naomi, I feel healthier than I ever have. Over the last few months, I’ve lost 50 pounds, which has made a huge difference in my quality of life. I almost didn’t believe the scale when I kept seeing the weight drop. But I can’t deny that climbing the stairs hurts less, and even getting out of the car is easier with 50 less pounds to carry.
My A1c has also dropped from its high at 6.9% to around 5.2%. After my most recent doctor’s visit, I was taken off my blood pressure medication because things had improved so much. Even better, I got a message from the office afterwards that said, “Diabetes is GONE!!! Amazing work—keep it up!” And while I know type 2 diabetes is never truly gone, I fully intend to keep it at bay with Virta’s help!
One of the most important things I learned from Coach Naomi is that perfection is never the goal. Instead, I focus on progress. There will be good days, and there will be rough days. I am so thankful to have Naomi’s support throughout—especially when I came to her, scared and not sure what to do about my health.
“I can help you with this”—I still hear those words from Naomi, and it gives me comfort to know that Virta will be by my side through whatever kinds of days are ahead.