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I prayed for a better solution to my type 2 diabetes. Then I found Virta.

By Shannon Farrar | July 12, 2021 | Healthy Lifestyle, Health Conditions

My diagnosis of type 2 diabetes seemed to come out of nowhere and hit me like a ton of bricks.

I was 28 when lesions appeared on my legs. I figured it was a simple skin condition, but worth getting checked out anyway. My doctor did some blood work, which I assumed was just for my leg. Instead, he discovered that I had type 2 diabetes, and it was out of control. I was devastated but ready to get to work and get it in check.

I started metformin, and my doctor told me to cut out sweets, watch what I eat, and exercise more. So I did. I may be a leader in my field, but I am also a strict rule follower. I kicked sweets out of my diet, reduced how much I ate, and started walking 4-5 miles a day. I figured if I did exactly what the doctor told me, I would be fine.

And for years I did just that. But even though I was doing everything I was told, I couldn’t seem to drop the weight, and my numbers kept getting worse. As my numbers increased, so did my medications. Nothing seemed to help.

Then my doctor used the seven-letter word I had been dreading: insulin. I was already on a maximum dose of metformin and what felt like a drugstore worth of pills and injectables. But for some reason, the idea of insulin scared me—like it somehow made my diabetes more real. I thought I had done everything right. I didn’t know what else to do, so I prayed. I prayed for something better—something different.

The very next day, I got an email from my insurance, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. The email described Virta as a type 2 diabetes “reversal” program worth over $3,000 that is included in my health plan. It’s funny—I had been so focused on managing my diabetes that I never even thought about reversing it.

Right away I reached out to a Virta representative to find out more, and I learned how the Virta treatment uses food as medicine and replaces how your body gets its energy. Instead of relying on carbohydrates, which often do more harm than good, Virta teaches you to use healthy sources of fat for energy. I was 100% sold. This was the answer I was looking for, and I signed up immediately. Between learning how Virta can reverse my diabetes and meeting my Virta health coach, Rachael, I was fired up.

Originally, I wasn’t a “cauliflower rice” kind of person, but it quickly became a staple along with a lot of other new foods. I always joke that if I didn’t get into my current line of work, I would have loved being a chef. I accepted the Virta treatment as a challenge to flex my cooking skills. I also explained to my network of friends and family that this was not a diet. For me, this was a lifestyle change that I needed to make for myself. And while some changes did feel big at first, like replacing comfort foods such as potatoes and pasta, I told myself big results require big changes. And it was working. I could actually feel my body healing.

After years of getting nowhere “managing” my type 2 diabetes, I was finally getting real results on Virta, and I started seeing those results in the first few weeks. That felt incredible!

When I first started, my fasting blood glucose was 210 mg/dL. Now, a little over five months later, it is down to 111 mg/dL. I have also lost 20 pounds. My diabetes medications have been cut down by a third, and I no longer need Jardiance at all.

In addition to Rachael at Virta, who still receives daily pictures of the meals I create, I attribute my success to my support group. My husband, John, and my friends all accept that this is not a temporary solution. While I may be bringing my own food to cookouts or Sunday brunches, I will be more present and with more energy than ever before!

My advice to anyone who is just starting or thinking about starting: stay positive and be patient. Your body needs time to heal. Stop reading articles about nutrition online, which often has conflicting advice, and trust Virta’s care team to help you understand what your body needs—it really does work!