By Rodney, on Virta 3 months
When I got married in 1988, I weighed 180 pounds soaking wet. Call it her good cooking or my addiction to late night snacking, over the years I got big. At my heaviest I weighed 260 pounds. I knew it wasn’t healthy, but I didn’t realize how unhealthy it really was. At least, not until my operating engineers Local 649 Doc, Dr. Jim said my A1c was 11.1%.
I didn’t meet the requirements of my CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) or my school bus license. (I love to volunteer to drive the bus for my grandkids.) That was a punch in the chest.
He told me to “get off sugar and come back in a week.”
When I went back a week later, my A1c was 9.9%, just below the max allowable for my licenses. It was then that I was told that on top of the 2 1000mg doses of metformin a day, he wanted to prescribe me insulin. "No thank you," I told him, "I can get it down through diet and exercise."
Hard work has always been our family's structure. My father started C&G Concrete Construction Co, Inc. in 1966. I took over around 2002, at 82-years- young he continues to come to the office almost every day and enjoys knowing what jobs we have going on so he can go and visit the job sites. The concrete business is hard physical work—even if that means working 20-hours a day. But I will tell you, we could not do it without many resources.
Virta became that resource for me to get my health right.
I learned about Virta from a postcard I received from IUOE-National. The postcard said, “Reverse Diabetes” and I thought that sounded pretty good.
When I got started on Virta, I wasn’t sure how well I would take to it, but I am an all-or-nothing kind of a guy. And if my wife Tricia can beat breast cancer, which she did, I owe it to her, our 5 children and 9 grandchildren to give it my all to beat diabetes.
My Virta health coach helped me understand the science of why carbs raise my blood sugar. She helps me find new things to try and suggests things that I really like. She also gives me the mental and emotional resources to combat the many cravings I have from eliminating all the unhealthy food/sugar in my diet. While Tricia and I have slightly different diets, we can still build our family meals around a protein like smoked chicken, turkey, seafood and all the variety of recipes that Virta makes available. It really has become a mindset and a lifestyle—one that I will be capable of continuing.
My original goal when I started with Virta was to get down to 190 pounds. Today I am 186 pounds and have shifted that goal a bit, because I know now 180 will be a weight that I can achieve and will make all my biometrics easier to maintain. Even better, my last weekly estimation A1c was between 5.4% - 5.8% and my metformin prescription has been reduced to 1 500mg pill per day. Even my son, who is 27 and has always been incredibly strong laughs and says “Dad, you have obliques”
This journey has also had a serious spiritual impact, and I thank God in my devotional every morning. I feel like a new man. I hope sharing my story will encourage others to get healthy spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Virta makes life so much easier.