Regular Contributor


Dorcas C. Chandler


When I first started my weight-loss Journey May 26, 2015, I knew I had to eat right and exercise.   In 2003 I had a spinal cord injury from a car running through the wall of my computer school that I owned. I wasn't sure what I could do regarding exercising.  I couldn't stand up for any length of time and I was on a walker; but I knew I had to do something to get the weight off of my spine.  I allowed my weight to get over 400lbs from the time of my injury until 2015. I was wondering how I was going to do what my doctor told me to do regarding eating right and losing weight without exercising.

I was in my office in 2015 lying on the bed and I asked God this question, “God how am I going to lose weight when a previous doctor told me that I would never be able to lose weight because I couldn't move?”  I heard a soft voice that echoed back in my ear ‘but… what does Dorcas say.’ It was at that point, as I lay flat on my back, I lifted my left leg up.  That was the leg with the most problems. I then tried to count but I could only count to 5 and my leg would fall back down automatically. It was as though my leg had no strength.  I felt paralyzed. I kept trying to raise it up and it kept falling down.

It was at that point, I realized I had to move what I could. I determined in my mind that I needed to start somewhere. There was nothing wrong with my right leg, but I wanted both legs to be in sync and whatever my left leg would do, I would have my right leg do also. The first couple of months of my weight loss, I was only able to do 5 leg exercises at a time. I did 5 on the left and 5 on the right. Then I began to lift my hands in the air: 5 lifts and that was it. Then I looked over in the corner and I saw my mom's cane.  I reach for it and started lifting that cane up above my head 5 times. I was so proud of myself because I didn't know I could even do that. Then I took that same cane and moved it behind my head like I was doing sit ups without moving up and down. I knew then I was on my way. I shouted out in my office, “Dorcas you're on your way.”  It may seem simple and it may seem like it isn’t much, but it meant the world to me. It was a couple of months after I had talked to my doctor that I begin to move what I could.

The next couple of months I was able to lift my legs 10 times by placing my foot in the handle of the cane. Then months later I was able to lift my legs 15 times. One year later I can lift my legs 100 times without the cane.  I do a hundred sit-ups in the bed.  Now any exercises I do lifting my arms and legs laying on my side or on my back, I do it in increments of 100. Wow! I am so proud of the progress I have made because I did not stop or let defeat dictate to me. Now I have set new goals: once I get up-which I will report, “VICTORY! I WILL BE SOON ON MY WAY TO THE GYM.”

 I have written five exercise songs and titled THEM “Put Your Foot Up Against Mine.”  I hope to inspire you to simply move what you can! I am so grateful to God for what He is allowed me to do. Now please understand that I'm still on a walker and I still have pain in the left side of my body; but not as much as I had before. Still today, I am eating right and exercising and losing weight at 64 years old. Sometimes I don’t feel like exercising, but I choose not to settle for the negative voices in my head that tell me I can't. I’m here to tell you:  OH YES I CAN-and you can too! Just move what you can! NEVER GIVE UP NEVER—regardless the struggle!  YOU CAN—OH YES YOU CAN—WE WILL OH YES WE WILL!

Please understand you should never attempt to do exercises or start a diet without first consulting your doctor or a medical provider. I don't know your situation. One thing I do know is that life is beautiful and so are you.  Good health waits for us all!

Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Online Community Refresh

Online Community has updated the site design in our discussions area to make it easier to connect, follow a conversation and access resources.

The new look and feel will be rolled out in multiple phases starting with these initial improvements in the conversations and replies levels.

Learn more about the new design today.

AARP Members Only Games

Play members only games, like FIll Ins, Lumeno, 2048 and a collaborative, multiplayer Let's Crossword.

Play Now
AARP Members Only Games Logos
AARP Rewards

Solve Crosswords. Earn Rewards. Activate AARP Rewards to earn points for games, quizzes and videos. Redeem for deals and discounts.

Get started with AARP Rewards now!