Cathy Nobil-Dutton LCSW, is the founder of Body Esteem. 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 Body Esteem is one that has had a few twists and turns."
- Cathy Nobil-Dutton
Cathy started her 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 her that many people had concerns about their weight and body image and these concerns impacted their emotional health and ability to form meaningful relationships. Cathy began to feel like she wanted to take some of her 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 her to become certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and subsequently to founding Body Esteem in 1995.
In 1997, Cathy became a Certified Health Coach (also through the American Council on Exercise) and with the combination of her expertise, she went on to develop a program that addresses the emotional issues related to body image and weight loss. Cathy 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 go to feel comfortable and accepted.
All was going well for many years and Cathy was beginning to think about what she wanted to do for her “third act” as she was moving more solidly into middle age. She decided that she wanted to focus more on corporate wellness and public health issues. Cathy enrolled in the Wellcoaches certification program and was preparing to take the wellness coach exam when she received news that would move her to a completely different path altogether.
She was diagnosed with cancer. Cathy took her 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 Cathy dealt with her health crisis. She had surgery and radiation to treat the cancer and those six months were all about her health and healing. Cathy also discovered through genetic testing that she has something called Lynch Syndrome. This is a genetic abnormality that predisposes one to a number of different cancers. The idea that Cathy would be treated and return to her "old life" shifted as she accepted that she would need much more constant health surveillance.
In the process of treatment, Cathy came to realize that there is a need for people to have a cancer coach or guide to help them navigate the journey. She experienced first-hand the depth to which one health crisis can alter normal life.
Cathy experienced the emotional toll, the physical toll and the numerous adjustments one has to make to find a "new normal". Cathy found herself searching for a resource that could help her navigate through her own dietary adjustments, exercise support and modifications as well as general research and emotional support. Cathy needed someone to be a guide; to show her how to navigate her own personal Mount Everest. She soon realized the training and experiences she had made her the perfect candidate to be a "Cancer Sherpa" for others.
The Trek Continues
In September 2015, Cathy was certified as an Integrative Oncology Navigator through the Institute for Integrative Oncology Navigation. In November 2018, she became certified as a Cancer Exercise Specialist. This certification deepened her understanding of the physical needs of cancer survivors. It is now her goal to assist cancer patients and survivors to navigate their own unique cancer path.
Now, Cathy remains cancer free and she is working in three capacities – as a clinical therapist, a personal trainer and wellness coach and a cancer navigator. Like the Sherpas in Nepal, Cathy guides her clients through an overwhelming journey and helps them reach the other side of the mountain that is cancer.
"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." - Cathy Nobil-Dutton
Let my history then be a gate unfastened to a new life and not a barrier to my becoming.
- David Whyte