Cathy Nobil-Dutton LCSW, is the founder of bodyesteem. Cathy is a private practice clinical social worker, certified personal trainer & health coach, certified cancer exercise specialist and a certified cancer navigator. Her unique background makes her highly qualified to provide the psychological support, effective exercise plans and unique support services for those who have had or are currently under treatment for Cancer.
In addition to her training and certifications, Cathy is also a cancer survivor. Through her own journey, she has come to recognize the importance of being an active partner in both the treatment and recovery process of cancer. Her own personal journey has deepened her understanding of a cancer patient's needs and energized her to use her skills to provide a much-needed service for others who are on the cancer journey.
"The path I have taken to creating bodyesteem is one that has had a few twists and turns." -Cathy Nobil-Dutton
I started my career as a clinical social worker in 1983 and developed a private practice providing therapeutic counseling to individuals, couples, and families. In the process of this work, it became clear to me that many people had concerns about their weight and body image and these concerns impacted on their emotional health and ability to form meaningful relationships. I began to feel like I wanted to take some of my clients for a walk during the session in order to accomplish two goals at the same time.
Acting on the importance of this mind-body connection led me to become certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and subsequently to found bodyesteem in 1995.
In 1997, I became a Certified Health Coach (also through the American Council on Exercise) and with the combination of my expertise, I went on to develop a program that addresses the emotional issues related to body image and weight loss. I began to focus more and more on working with people who were reluctant to exercise on their own and wanted to find a place where they could come and feel comfortable and accepted.
All was going well for many years and I was beginning to think about what I wanted to do for my “third act” as I was moving more solidly into middle age. I decided that I wanted to focus more on corporate wellness and public health issues. I enrolled in Wellcoaches certification program and was preparing to take the wellness coach exam when I received news that would move me onto a completely different path altogether.
I was diagnosed with cancer. I took my certification exam on a Monday and then spent the rest of that week meeting with oncologists.
All plans for moving forward with corporate coaching were put on hold while I dealt with my health crisis. I had surgery and radiation to treat my cancer and those six months were all about my health and healing. I also discovered through genetic testing that I have something called Lynch Syndrome. This is a genetic abnormality that predisposes me to a number of different cancers. My idea that I would be treated and return to "my old life" shifted as I accepted that I would need much more constant health surveillance.
In the process of my treatment I came to realize that there is a need for people to have a cancer coach or guide to help them navigate the journey. I experienced first-hand the depth to which one health crisis can alter normal life.
I experienced the emotional toll, the physical toll and the numerous adjustments I had to make to my regular life to find my "new normal". I found myself searching for a resource that could help me navigate through my own dietary adjustments, exercise support and modifications as well as general research and emotional support. I needed someone to be a guide for me; to show me how to navigate my own Mount Everest. I soon realized my training and experiences made me the perfect candidate to be a "Cancer Sherpa" for others.
The Trek Continues
In September 2015, I was certified as an Integrative Oncology Navigator through the Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation. In November 2018, I became certified as a Cancer Exercise Specialist. This certification deepens my understanding of the physical needs of cancer survivors. It is my goal to assist cancer patients & survivors to navigate their own unique cancer path.
And now…I remain cancer free and am working in three capacities – as a clinical therapist, as a personal trainer and wellness coach and as cancer navigator. Like the mountain Sherpas in Nepal, I wear many hats. It is extremely fulfilling work. I feel as though the steps along my path have led me to the place where I can help others find peace and wellness through and after Cancer.
Let my history then be a gate unfastened to a new life and not a barrier to my becoming.
- David Whyte