Thanks to Valmont and Virta, this former “carb queen” is hanging up her crown
By Kristen, on Virta for 6 months
When I first received my type 2 diabetes diagnosis during a routine check-up, I ignored it. My doctor told me that my blood sugar was in the 140 - 150 mg/dL range and wanted me to start taking medications right away. I thought nothing of it because I had eaten a carbohydrate-heavy Italian dinner the night before, so I attributed my high blood sugar to that.
About a year later, however, I started having constant headaches and just felt quite ill overall. I went to see my doctor again, and it turns out my blood sugar had climbed to over 300 mg/dL, and my A1c was over 7.0%. This time, I agreed with him when he recommended I start taking metformin immediately.
The metformin caused some digestive side effects and didn’t sit well with me, so I had to stop taking it. At my next appointment, my A1c was even higher than before at 9.0%. As an alternative to metformin, my doctor recommended glipizide, which seemed to work. My blood sugar decreased to 170 - 180 mg/dL, but stayed above what would be considered as type 2 diabetes. I tried to make a few changes to my diet and learn more about healthy eating, but the sheer amount of information available was overwhelming. In the end, the dietary changes didn’t last. I felt lonely and didn’t think anyone really understood the challenges I was facing.
A few weeks later during the summer of 2021, I got a postcard from my employer, Valmont, about a free benefit for employees called Virta. It mentioned how Virta could help me lower my blood sugar while reducing the need for diabetes medications. This really appealed to me because I sometimes struggled to even remember to take the glipizide! So I decided to apply, and after a quick and easy process, I was ready to start Virta.
My friends used to call me the “carb queen” because of my love of pasta and bread. So I was a little worried about the Virta treatment because I wasn’t sure if I could cut those things from my daily meals. What would I eat instead? Turns out I had nothing to worry about because I’ve found so many meals that I truly enjoy that don’t involve carbs at all. For example, I found a recipe for taco soup on the Virta app that has become a new favorite of mine. And instead of pasta and potatoes, I eat spaghetti squash and cauliflower. It really made me believe that if this (now former) carb queen can do it, anyone can.
One of the reasons Virta works for me is because of all the support available. My health coach, Jazmin, has been the best support system because she just gets what I am going through. I no longer feel alone in my struggles with type 2 diabetes or finding the right foods to eat for my body. Whenever I have a question, Jazmin is there to listen or give me advice. Often, it’s hard for me to enjoy my salad when my children want pizza and ice cream. In situations like that, Jazmin listens to me and helps me talk through the problem at hand, and I find that just knowing someone understands is enough for me to not feel like I’m missing out. She has helped me focus on all the things I’ve gained—like the improved blood sugar and more energy—instead of anything I may have lost.
In just a few months, my life has completely changed. My last A1c results were 5.5%, down 4 whole points from 9.5% last summer, and my daily blood sugars are around 100 - 110 mg/dL. On top of that, I’ve lost 20 pounds and my clothes are now fitting better than ever. Because of these great results, I’ve also been able to stop taking glipizide.
Valmont has truly shown how much they care about their employees and their families by offering Virta at no cost to us. I would tell anyone who is thinking of trying Virta to just do it.