You take the good, you take the bad. Like millions of Americans who grew up
watching her on Facts of Lisa Whelchel knows that familiar tune. But
unlike the shallow, spoiled socialite Blair former child sitcom
alter-ego from Texas-born beauty quickly learned that what life seemed
to deliver on a silver platter could be most unfulfilling, leaving her hungering for
something deeper. During the NBC second season, the 16-year-old rising
recent weight gain led her male producers to start weighing her on in front
of curious onlookers. Her personal struggle was further broadcast publicly when
Joan Rivers repeatedly dubbed Whelchel and her young co-stars Fats of
Indeed, Hollywood was anything but the Heartland. Fortunately, a short trip back to
Texas reconnected the religious teen with her spiritual support in turn
inspired her to manage her waistline by first and foremost nourishing her soul.
Nearly 35 years later, the faith-based author, motivational speaker, mom of three
and 2012 finalist has found a new way to inspire and encourage women by
walking her Whelchel, fit and ever-glowing at 50, recently released her
first fitness DVD, Workout for the Everyday The program includes
two total-body workouts for all fitness levels, as well as personal training tips to boost
fitness, energy and well-being in virtually any setting. In this WellBella exclusive,
recently made her acting comeback in Tyler feature film
Madea about her journey from all-American girl to empathetic
(and still not exercise-crazy!) everywoman.
lw No, maybe the opposite: I found out I had
weaknesses I did not want to admit or accept.
I spent so much of my life trying to be good and
trying to do the right things, and then I got into
this game of I came face-to-face with
the fact that if I needed to be bad in order to
move ahead, then, you know what, that [ability]
was in me. I want to vote somebody out
in order to win $1 million, which is an incredibly
shallow thing to yet, if going to be
honest, yeah, kinda why I signed up for
wb What inspired you
wb Everyone has a little bit of Blair
lw Almost every book or
talk or anything ever
done has flowed out of my
own life, and specifically my
failures and weaknesses and
struggles. And this project
is no exception. Especially
in [show] business, exercise
plays a very big I
enjoy exercise, I
want to do it, I like it.
But needed to do it. And
now that getting older, not even about
the need to be a certain size; about health
and energy, keeping my body moving and not
I thought, got to be other women
out there who looking for rock-hard
abs, but would like more energy, strength
and better health. I started with empathy and
understanding of that audience, and wanted
to see if we could tackle this together.
wb How will the everyday woman
benefit from these workouts?
lw really excited to hear feedback from
all types of those with physical
challenges to those who worked out in
years. For the real beginner, motivation
to get moving, and not overwhelming. But
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also really thrilled to hear that even women
who have been exercising for a while will do
the workouts and feel sore and stronger the
next day. feedback to show that with
the three [difficulty] levels, you can find a
spot to really push yourself without pushing
yourself too far.
wb What are a few ways to condition
our bodies for fitness before
lw One of my favorite parts of the DVD is the
bonus section of personal training tips that
specifically part of the exercise routine,
but can make a huge difference for good or
way we stand, the way we sit at our
desk at a computer, whether we engage our
core properly and the way we breathe. We
pay much attention to those things.
wb Playing at age 49
certainly required mental, emotional
and physical fitness. Did you find you
had strengths you realize?
Warner in them!
lw [Laughs] I think right. What I
learned most doing is to accept all
parts of me, not just the parts.
wb You experienced such scrutiny
about your weight during Facts
of At age 16, how did you endure
being weighed on a scale by your
lw During my time off, I went home to Texas.
where my family was, my friends,
my church, my youth group. And I had this
conversation with one of the guys in the
youth group. I said, want to go back to
California. too hard. letting everybody
down. gaining weight. I really just want
to give up and come He said, can
understand why feel that way. But let
me ask you a question: How much time are
you spending with the Lord every I said,
read my Bible. I pray and go to He
said, not asking you what doing
for God. asking you how much time
sitting and just being with Him, hanging out
really not thought about it in such
practical terms. He said, me give you a
diet. For the next two weeks when you go
back to California, eat anything you want, but
set your alarm a little early and just sit and
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to do a fitness DVD?
But in not paying attention to them, we
often fall into bad habits and, over time, the
cumulative effect can be as bad as injuring
yourself while exercising.