The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

December 23, 2013

Fayetteville woman refuses to surrender

After losing a husband, most of a lung, and all motivation, a lot of women in their 80s would have surrendered to the couch for good. But a life of sitting around just didn’t sit well with Lita Eskew.

Mending from life traumas has put Lita better in touch with her health. Through changes in diet, exercise, and attitude, the 84-year-old Fayetteville native has strengthened her body and regained a sense of well being in the process.

And she says anyone can do the same.

“We’re not young forever, but we can stay healthy and keep going as long as we can, and I think that’s a blessing,” she said.

“Sometimes you have to put yourself first. As far as health goes, God wants us to put ourselves first. Our bodies are his temples and he wants us to take care of them.”

When Lita’s husband, Kenny, passed away three years ago, she lost some of her life energy too. Married for over six decades, the couple had done everything together, including taking walks for exercise.

“After Kenny died, I kind of lost interest in things. I gave up,” says Lita. “But after a while, I thought, ‘You’ve got to get your life together and move on. He would want you to.’ And that’s when I really made the change.”

But not before a battle with lung cancer. She got her diagnosis around the same time that her husband passed away. Eventually, she underwent surgery to remove a lung. Needless to say, it was a lot for her body to manage.

Lita found herself almost 30 pounds overweight and heading for a diabetes diagnosis. She had always tried to take care of herself, but two major traumas had taken their toll.

Six months ago, she arrived at a fork in the road and made a choice.

“I woke up one day and thought, ‘I don’t feel good. I’ve got to do something,’” she said.

Since that day, she’s lost over 20 pounds and 18 inches off her waistline. Her hemoglobin A1C (blood sugar measure) has plummeted to 6.7, “which is almost perfect,” she says. And most importantly, she feels better about herself.

Here is how she did it.

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