Picture this: It’s a highlight of your family summer, a day at the amusement park, and your kids are excited to ride the rollercoaster with you. You make your way down to the seats built for larger people, squeeze yourself in, but the shoulder bar won’t close. Attendants hurry over, pushing and pulling, saying “It’s not going to close!” for everyone in earshot to hear. Eventually they squash you in and the ride takes off, but everyone on the ride saw your struggle, including your family.
For Scott, a Purdue University computer technician and non-traditional bachelor’s degree student, it’s a vivid and painful memory. But flash forward one year to the next summer, and the story takes a fresh turn, thanks to Scott’s participation in Virta.
“This year my goal was to sit in the front row, in the seats that are made for just anybody,” says Scott, 49. “I just walked up and sat down in the seat, and the harness latched without a problem. There was even extra room in the seat. My daughter sat next to me, and we rode it three times in a row.”
Scott started Virta in May 2017 shortly after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In his first ten weeks on the program he lost 41 lbs, and his A1c dropped from 6.8 to 5.6%, which means he no longer meets the diagnostic criteria for type 2 diabetes. He reports better sleep thanks to better nighttime breathing and reduced snoring, and improved energy and stamina in his daily activities.
“I’ve tried various lifestyle and eating changes, and nothing has really worked,” says Scott. “What makes this different is a couple things: First, the food I get to eat is really good. I thought I’d miss bread and sweets, but there’s so much other stuff you can eat instead that keeps you full — I feel like I can sustain this for the rest of my life.”
“Plus, my Virta health coach is there,” says Scott. “The other things I’ve tried felt like it was all on me; now daily all my biomarkers are checked, and my coach keeps track of whether I’m staying on course. It’s really nice to know there’s somebody looking out for me and ready to step in if I need some help.”