When I was young, I wanted to change the world. But all I can change is me. That changes the world.

The past 12 months have been filled with new challenges and exciting adventures, pushing myself beyond any memory of my comfort zone. Without realizing it, I depended on food to make me feel better. Chocolate. Nachos. Fries. Did I mention chocolate?

My excuse was that I was busy running my company. I didn’t have time. But I couldn’t deny how unhealthy I felt. How my stomach was begging for mercy. How was I going to put this all together?

Ask a question and the Universe answers.

I volunteered to be coached about my eating by Dave Veale of Vision Coaching as part of a demo at an Enterprise Saint John workshop last year. (ahem I did mention about leaving my comfort zone behind, right?) I bought the food to make meals as negotiated and only made half of them. But my stomach thanked me for the real food. Better. But still not committed.

About a month later, my brother convinced me to use the My Fitness Pal app to track my food. That was a wake up call. Can you say portion control? Or snacking while cooking? Or, yes, you ate more than your carbs for today at breakfast? An eye opener.

Then I met Cheryl Richardson, author of Extreme Self-Care, last year in New York City. Spending the weekend listening to her and watching her brought the message home. Here is this successful, internationally known coach, speaker, and author who has a huge heart and strong boundaries. She was clear about who she was and how much she could give.

To become the human being, the friend, the lover, the speaker, the writer, the teacher, the entrepreneur that I intend to be, I must put the oxygen mask on first. In my diet, my exercise, my yes’s and no’s, my rest, my spiritual practice.

Today officially 20 pounds of fries, sugar, and lack of self-care have come off. More weight than that has been lifted from me though. My boundaries are stronger. I am clear about who I am and what is important to me. I have people in my life who love and support me. I still work too much. I still think too much. But I am happier and going places I’ve only dreamt of before.

Now is the time to be the best possible me. What about you? How are you going to put your oxygen mask on first?


  1. Cher on January 23, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Great post Bravo for you :)My mask came off my heart – didnt even know it was there!
    Bet wishes

    • Catherine on January 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Cher, that will be my next adventure. I am getting good at saying no to what I don’t want. Now I need to say yes to love 🙂

  2. Amy on January 23, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Putting the oxygen mask on first is a GREAT visual image, especially for a parent. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself!! Thanks for this great reminder, Catherine!

  3. Erica Ardali on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    I blog about Pampering Your Inner Diva a lot. I do believe in stealing those precious moments to recharge, it makes women a better , partner, wife, sister, mom, employee etc.

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