Client Spotlight: Cathy Haffner!

Check out Cathy’s changes. Wow, right?!

Check out Cathy’s changes. Wow, right?!

Cathy didn’t wait for the “perfect time” to start training, she seized the moment earlier this year and hasn’t looked back. Until now! Hear Cathy reflect on her remarkable physique transformation and what it’s taken to get here...and keep going strong.

TRUEFN: How long have you been working with your coach, Justine?

CH: I started working with Justine the beginning of Feb 2018.

TRUEFN: Why did you start working together?

A recent shot of Cathy - looking AND feeling amazing!

A recent shot of Cathy - looking AND feeling amazing!

I was diagnosed with diabetes last March of 2017, and had lost some weight on my own by counting carbs and walking, but I was out of shape and my weight loss had plateaued for a couple of months. I decided to join a senior softball league this year and knew I needed to get in shape if I was going to be able to participate without killing myself. I had a gift certificate for two, 1-hr personal training sessions at TFN and even then, it took me some time to redeem it because I was nervous about working out... I had never done anything like it before. Once I started, I have never looked back!

Cathy with some of her doggy pals before her physique work began.

Cathy with some of her doggy pals before her physique work began.

TRUEFN: How has your physique, strength, and/or mindset changed since you started?

CH: As I said, I had lost some weight on my own last year, about 30 lbs, but I was not in shape at all. Since starting at TFN, I have lost another 25 lbs and I feel STRONG. My confidence has grown and people are noticing the changes to my body and demeanor. When I first started at TFN, I secretly (or maybe not so secretly) worried that I wouldn't be able to do whatever Justine had in store for me but now I know I can! She pushes me but I know I can do it!

TRUEFN: How many days a week do you exercise?

CH: I work out at TFN twice a week but also play softball once a week during the Fall and bowl on three leagues!  I also try to walk my dogs every day.


TRUEFN: Life gets busy and people miss workouts, what's your strategy to stay on track?

Heavy deadlifts are a high-stimulus exercise. Do them right, like Cathy, and reap the benefits!

Heavy deadlifts are a high-stimulus exercise. Do them right, like Cathy, and reap the benefits!

CH: I treat my workouts with Justine as an obligation I can't miss, just like my softball games and bowling leagues. I have committed myself to doing it and the only thing that will stop me is illness.

TRUEFN: How has addressing your nutrition with Ari gotten you further toward your goals?

CH: Ari has been great. He gives me "habits" to work on versus giving me a diet to follow. I've lost 25 more lbs working with him and hope to lose 15 more. I know I'm working on lifelong changes which is difficult at times, I'm not going to lie. But Ari helps keep me on track.


TRUEFN: On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your workouts?

CH: TEN! I'm afraid if I say anything lower, Justine will kick my butt!  Seriously though, I am only cheating myself if I give anything less than that.

TRUEFN: What is your favorite exercise?

Another hole bites the dust! Cathy’s most recent lifting belt adjustment as her waistline changes.

Another hole bites the dust! Cathy’s most recent lifting belt adjustment as her waistline changes.

I like doing squats, which is amazing to me because when I first started, I didn't think I'd be able to do them because my knees were horrible.

TRUEFN: How does being strong benefit other aspects of your life? We know you’re into dog rescue and bowling!

TRUEFN: I’m a board member for a dog rescue group and that keeps me very busy transporting dogs to and from vet visits and adoption events. I have so much more energy now! I wish I could say it has improved my bowling average too but alas, not so far. Being stronger makes me feel more independent. Instead of being a little old lady needing help, I can do it myself, thank you!

TRUEFN: What’s your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?

Cathy gettin’ it done at the studio with Justine - and a little help from Daba!

Cathy gettin’ it done at the studio with Justine - and a little help from Daba!

CH: You just have to decide you're going to do it and make the time and committment to get it done. I have many friends who have asked me what I'm doing because the changes are so evident and I let them know it hasn't happened overnight. There are no quick fixes or magic have to put in the work and it takes time. I recall the first day I met with Justine, I asked her and Jenn how long it was going to take for me to see changes. I wanted it right away! I know now that it's a lifelong journey and a fun one at that.


Coaches’ Perspectives: Justine Chang and Ari Snaevarsson: 

TRUEFN: Justine, what is it about Cathy that has helped her succeed so far?

 It really is Cathy herself.  Her determination has gotten her to where she is now.  Cathy has made her nutrition goals and our training sessions a priority, which has lead her to a lot of strength and loss in body-fat. She gives nothing but 100% when she comes in.  Her work capacity is like no other!  She is able to do SO much in the one hour we have with each other and NEVER complains.  She stays active in her softball, bowling and works with me 2x a week.  She is STRONG.  She is probably one of the most active people I know.  She walks with more confidence and I am so proud of all of her accomplishments.  It is such a pleasure working with Cathy and I am honoured to be a part of her journey.  Cathy, you are AMAZING.  I love watching you come into the stuido early, warmed up and ready to rock and roll.  The prescription doesn’t change much.  Show up, work hard, eat well, rest and repeat and you WILL get results.  Kudos to you Cathy!  I applaud you for being patient and staying the course.  Thank you for believing in yourself and for trusting Ari and me through the process.  You are an awesome client to work with and I am truly blessed to be a part of it!

TRUEFN: Ari, why do you think Cathy has made such great strides toward her fitness goals?

I would categorize Cathy as a “silent killer.”  She’s one of the sweetest and friendliest people you’ll meet, but when it comes to her goals, she doesn’t mess around.  We’ve always kept a focus on simplicity in her nutrition work.  She does an awesome job of never taking her eyes off the task at hand.  That means even when the occasional “slip-up” strikes, she never lets the defeatist attitude set in and pull her deeper down that rabbit hole.  Instead, every single time, she’s open and honest with me about what she’s worried about or where she could use some help. 

Cathy has a fighter mentality.  She was not in a great place health-wise when she came in almost 8 months ago.  But she knew she didn’t want the rest of her life to be defined by this, and so she took our plan seriously and didn’t falter.  Over time, her blood sugar improved, her dietary consciousness improved, her general outlook on life was brighter, and she got stronger.  Yes, she lost weight, but it was because she knew not to fixate on it and instead trust the process and take the actionable steps necessary to get her where she needs to go.