(Photo: Courtesy Acacia/Adam Brown)
Lisa Whelchel is perhaps most well-known for her role as Blair on "The Facts of Life," but the mother of three has had an exciting and diverse career on TV and in ministry. Now Whelchel is featured in the new DVD "Lisa Whelchel's Everyday Workout for the Everyday Woman." She took time to speak with The Christian Post about the DVD, her appearance on "Survivor" and life now.
The Christian Post: After being on TV, competing on "Survivor" and being in the ministry, what made you decide to work on this particular project?
Whelchel: When Acacia first asked, my response was "no," because I don't enjoy working out. I had a best friend who was a personal trainer, and she was re-training me because I had been doing a lot of things wrong, pushing myself too hard. I rethought the offer and thought that if I could make a DVD for women like me, then I would reconsider. I wondered, "Is there anyone else like me, who doesn't care about the rock hard abs but still wants to lose a few pounds?" I went ahead to film it and actually had a great time filming the DVD because I was working with my friends. I was able to enjoy and follow the professional.
How did your experience on "Survivor" test your faith?
It impacted my faith quite a bit in a positive way – it helped me embrace a part of my faith that I had rejected. I knew it in my head that God accepted all of me, the good and the bad. I so wanted to be good that I rejected the bad. On this show, all those things come to the surface and you need those "bad" parts to play the game and to win, so I really had to come to terms with those parts of myself. While it was freeing, I've had to face my fear of judgment. When you can accept yourself and don't have to perform and act so much, other people see that part and they're not like God. They judge. And that's where my struggle is at. Not wanting to admit that I have those "bad" parts and having people judge me.
Why do you consider yourself an "everyday woman" when so many others see you as a celebrity? Does that humility have to do with your faith and Christian teachings?
I guess even though it's true that I may be a "celebrity" I'm still an everyday woman, when it comes down to it. If I want to be healthy, I have to keep my body moving. I have to make the time to do it; I can't just sit on the couch and read. If I want to be healthy and strong, I have to be active … everyday women face the same struggle.
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment so far?
It is definitely the relationship I have with my adult children. I'm so grateful that I didn't totally ruin them and destroy them. I think it has to do with the fact that I have made investing in a relationship with them intentional and a priority all their lives. So even when I've made mistakes, the relationship was the grace that covered those mistakes. It has to be a scary feeling to be alone at the end of your life; to know that I have three (hopefully six) great friends built-in at the end of my life.
What is one message you would want to give to your fans?
I would want them to take five minutes and use their imaginations to see what it would feel like to feel completely and utterly loved and accepted by God and then somehow have that be a point of reference to be there every day. What's really crazy about is that I have more trouble sitting for five minutes than I do for sitting for hours on the computer. We end up convicting ourselves rather than hearing God's voice saying, "I love you completely and unconditionally." It's something hard to do.
To learn more about Lisa Whelchel and her new DVD, please click here.
Watch a clip from the DVD here: