Former child star Chantal Umali was always known to be a chubby girl. However, after battling depression and suffering from severe obesity, Chantal decided to start a new lifestyle. With her daughter as her main inspiration, Chantal engaged in yoga practice. She has since them journeyed from 182 pounds to her current weight of 108. (Read: Living with Purpose: An Interview with Chef Sandy Daza)
What made you decide to take on a healthier lifestyle?
I started practicing at the peak of ill health. I was severely overweight and was battling depression. I have a daughter who counts on me and my well- being to take care of her so that’s definitely a motivator. But more importantly, I realized that I needed to live a full life for myself so I need to be in the best shape and in the right frame of mind.
What motivates you to keep at it?
I look back on who I was in the past and I decided that I no longer relate to the old me. I keep doing what I’m doing because I really see and feel how the practice has given me the tools to get to know myself better and to improve. And we all want to be better versions of ourselves. We should always aim to grow as persons. (Read: Heed this advice from Padre Pio and you’ll never be alone)
What would you like to share with others about health? Is it just about being slim? or is there something more?
We only have one body; our souls only have one dwelling place on Earth. If we take our health for granted, we sacrifice the quality of our life and how we can positively contribute to the lives of others. I’m a single parent. I cannot imagine what my daughter’s life would be like if I got sick or debilitated. I no longer want to go back to a life where I was in constant pain, physically and otherwise. Good health is the best gift we can give ourselves and our loved ones. It’s never about being slim, it’s about having a body that is strong enough and works efficiently enough to still feel good while we do our day-to-day obligations; a vessel where we can actually feel and appreciate living instead of just surviving.