By Lori, a Virta patient
A year and a half ago, in May of 2017, I began the Virta treatment. Six months later, I was doing so well that I decided to share my story on the Virta website. After 18 months, I’m happy to report that I’m still going strong on Virta. People ask me why and I tell them the simple answer: Virta is the only thing that has ever worked for me. It’s been really easy for me to do Virta, and nothing has ever been really easy for me before. I can’t even imagine my life without this treatment. Virta is now my lifestyle, and I will never change it.
With Virta, I’ve avoided expensive bariatric surgery, which I was seriously considering before joining Virta, and I have lost over 70 lbs now. I’m no longer on any diabetic medications, and I don’t take any medications for my multiple sclerosis either. I’m saving $125 every two months just by no longer needing my multiple sclerosis medication. My insurance company is saving even more – it used to cost them $1,800 per pill!
Lori before Virta and after 18 months on Virta, pictured with her children
“My mom has done an awesome job and has even inspired me to start my own journey towards losing weight and becoming a healthier me. It really is like looking at two different people, and it’s encouraging to see that she is taking her health so seriously. Health and wellness are very important and the fact that she makes the conscious decision to do better is truly inspiring.”
– Lori’s daughter
“This has done wonders for her. I’m so proud of her.”
– Lori’s son
I continue to exercise, even though I found that I don’t have to to keep the weight off. I exercise because I want to. I now do a lot of walking and swimming. I still like to go over to our community center and shoot hoops, and it feels great. I love my newfound energy. I never used to have this kind of energy or stamina before. I no longer worry about my joints or legs hurting through the day. Now my husband has to tell me to slow down. It’s so exciting!
I’ve also learned healthy habits that have become part of my routine. Before Virta, I flew by the seat of my pants, and I ate a lot of fast food. So when I first started, it was a challenge just learning the nutritional piece of the treatment, getting to know what you could and couldn’t eat. I now do meal prep every Saturday for the week, so I never have to think about what to eat. I have a plan and a routine that I do every day. I eat to nourish, not because of my emotions. I know what to expect on a daily basis, and I’ve kept to it.
When I first started the treatment, my goal was to master it, to figure out how it worked. I followed the treatment and found out that I have a lot of courage and conviction. But I learned that I needed a lot of support, too. Doing this alone would be too hard. Most people who have type 2 diabetes are lonely, and they think it’s all their fault. They need to know there are people out there experiencing the same thing, that it’s not their fault, and that we can all support each other. Virta has shown me just how important this is.
One of the things I’ve done recently is to grow my support system. With the help of a friend, I’ve been organizing a group of fellow “Virtans” at Nielsen where we all work. We hang out, talk about recipes, and eat lunch together—we even had an awesome potluck. People come to ask questions and get advice. It’s good for people to see that everyone is different. I shared that I was in a weight loss plateau for six months, but I didn’t quit. It’s good for people to see that others on Virta are all in different stages and that we are on own journeys.
There have been a few challenges along the way, and I know that I need to continue to open up and talk to people about my needs. I just had surgery, so it’s taken extra effort this month to stay on point. After my surgery, I had to tell the hospital staff that I couldn’t eat some of the food they gave me. But I did it and I’m happy to report that the healing process has gone very well. I know if I had been as unhealthy as I had been before Virta, the healing process would not have gone this quickly. When you have diabetes, you don’t heal well. But I don’t have diabetes anymore! In fact, I recently had my A1c checked and at 5.5%, I’m no longer even considered prediabetic.
Looking back, I think if I hadn’t found Virta, and if Nielsen hadn’t offered it, I would have been very sick by now. With the health issues I had, I don’t know if I’d even be around. And eighteen months on Virta, I’ve kept on track. I’ve even set some new goals. Initially, I wanted to get to 200 lbs. Now that I’m just 15 pounds away, I want to get under 200. And more than that, I want to get strong, stay healthy, and continue to enjoy life.
I am also very grateful to my employer, Nielsen, for paying for Virta. Nielsen is already a great company to work for, but for them to support people with type 2 diabetes like this, it’s incredible. Sure, I know that Nielsen benefits because my productivity is so much higher now, I’m at work more, and I’m no longer on intermittent medical leave, but I believe that Nielsen saved my life and I want to thank them so much. I couldn’t have done it without them.
Because of my experience, I encourage my colleagues at Nielsen to consider joining the treatment. You’ve probably tried other things, so why not take a chance? It doesn’t cost you anything, and in the long run, it could save you money. And if you are like me, it could save your life. I could barely walk and barely breathe. And now I don’t have those problems. What’s more, I have gotten to know so many supportive colleagues on Virta here at Nielsen. We meet in person every month—come and join us!