Monthly Archives: November 2015

In Cathy’s Words: Celebrity Status (well, it sure feels that way to me)!

This makeover journey has been a wild ride, in all the best ways, from the moment I learned I’d won!

There was an immediate reaching out by project partners offering me hearty congratulations and expressing their excitement at getting to work with me! Pretty heady stuff for someone like me!

I don’t see myself as a celebrity, but I feel like one! It is most humbling to have such an amazing array of successful professionals offering their time, talent and expertise to make my life better.

When I stopped in at SupperWorks in Kanata that first week, I was surprised to see my name on their white board where they welcome folks and cite their support of the OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT. Below that appeared ‘Congratulations to this year’s recipient, Cathy Whitney’.

I have never been a fan of getting my picture taken! And yet, this adventure has meant pictures, video, interviews, posting, tweeting, more pictures, emails, phone calls, booking appointments and being introduced to some of this city’s very best business owners – ALL while continuing to do my best at my wonderful job!  Yes, I’m biased because they’re all part of my life transforming journey, but to step-up and be part of something like this speaks volumes of their caring hearts.

I know there are 1000s of businesses in the area with kind-hearted owners; I know many of them. Frankly, I am one of them! But within the parameters of THE OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT, I am meeting and being cared for by an incredible group dedicated to helping me becoming the very best version of me.

I’m looking forward to becoming CATHY WHITNEY 2.0! However, at my core, I will always be CATHY WHITNEY 1.0 – the original, the unique, the one and only. There have been many tears shed in the course of this journey – and we’re only at the start of week three.

The teary side of things, the good bad and ugly that will be part of this journey will be shared. In the weeks ahead, I will share my experience with each of the OTTAWA MAKEOVER PROJECT partners so you can all get to know them better. I am very much looking forward to this journey!

Are you ready? I am!

Stay tuned!

– Cathy

Why Cathy?

On November 2, 2015 I was so fortunate to introduce our third Ottawa Makeover Project winner, Cathy Whitney, to Ottawa on Majic 100 FM and on CTV Morning Live! Cathy was chosen from a group of women and men who applied for the opportunity to jump start huge changes in their lives.

Maybe you are wondering…why did we choose Cathy this year? I have to tell you, it was a super difficult decision, and one our team did not take lightly. Cathy’s story was similar to some…single mom of grown kids, working for someone else while at the same time running her own business. As with other applicants, she put all of her energy into raising her two terrific kids, letting her own needs slide.  And yet, Cathy’s application video, which you can watch here showed a woman determined to make this project the springboard for, as she called it, “Cathy 2.0”. Our team loved the energy, the positive attitude, the determination she expressed.

Ottawa Makeover Project.WinningAnnoucement

So what happens now for Cathy? Well, she has already begun by meeting with the various businesses involved with the project, started her personal training, getting her time organized…and it’s been less than 2 weeks since we told her she was chosen!

In terms of what I have planned for Cathy in regards to dentistry…Cathy is like many patients I’ve met over the 21 years I’ve been a dentist. She made sure her children had the best dental care (and whatever else they needed), and let her own oral health support go on the back burner. She does take excellent care of her teeth, but now she needs the professional touch. We will be teaching Cathy about the relationship between oral health and whole-body health, and helping her strengthen that relationship with our dental team by her side. Her smile is already terrific, but we can’t wait to see her smile completely match her personality…bright and full of life!

As the founder of the Ottawa Makeover Project, it is also my personal quest to help guide and support Cathy throughout this journey. I cannot wait to see Cathy 2.0 slowly develop over these next months as she takes the advice and direction from all of the businesses involved in this project. Please join me and the rest of the Makeover Team in sharing positive messages with Cathy during this time!

– Dr. Andrea Stevens


In Her Own Words: Meet Cathy, 2015/2016 OMP Recipient

To put oneself before a panel of strangers asking them to help you change your life COMPLETELY is terrifying. To me, it was an admission that for all I’ve done to ensure my children’s lives were infinitely better than mine had been, the price I paid was too much for me to bear on my own. But, I also knew that after 22 years of putting everyone else first, it was time.

My greatest discomforts with this process were:
1) asking for something for ME, and
2) putting myself on public display as a wildly imperfect, overweight, out of shape, and overwhelmed person – essentially the hottest mess in Ottawa!

Taking the pictures was so uncomfortable, but I knew if I didn’t act quickly (albeit in the final hours before the deadline), then I would chicken out again. So, I dove in and did it.

I spent hours crafting my message on paper and finally just spoke from my heart. Speaking for the first two minutes and fifty seconds was not so bad. It was the final few seconds where my heart and emotions ran wild – asking for the makeover so I could be ‘the best version of me’ as I walk my daughter down the aisle next May – was the reason I needed TEN tries to get the video right.

Learning that I’d been selected almost made me faint because I was so genuinely shocked. In a quiet moment later with my daughter, Rebecca, I told her that it was the same shock value, (though in this case 100% awesome) as when I first saw my son, Austin in CHEO’s emergency department, after being hit by a car in 2006!

When I saw his beautiful face smashed and bruised, I feared he would die and knew I needed to be at his side. That was the longest 10-steps I’ve taken in my life! (Fear not, Austin is a walking talking miracle – CHEO for four days and a full recovery in 6 months beyond losing two front teeth which we are working on replacing.)

Beyond shock, was soul-deep delight, heartfelt euphoria and gratitude beyond words. Learning that I was unanimously chosen for being so authentic and genuine and having a clear goal in mind (my daughter’s wedding) was most humbling. Dr. Andrea Stevens may not wear a cape, but to me, she is a superhero. That she has assembled an incredible group of heroes who have all stepped up to change my life means more to me than I have room to express in this blog!

Don’t get me wrong, the next 6 months will require a monumental commitment from me, but I do so willingly. I am motivated, committed and passionate about being a fiercely active participant in the journey to Cathy Whitney 2.0!!


Follow Cathy’s journey on Facebook and Twitter: @OMakeover and @cathysmakeover