After photo | Current Weight 170 pounds | Height 5-Feet-8
by Jessica Malloy | Photos by Jason Applegate & Courtesy Photos
TAMMY DOMINOWSKI’S weight-loss journey began with a normal doctor’s visit back in 2013. But when she got on the scale and saw the numbers read 202 pounds, she was stunned. “I’ve never weighed that much in my life,” she said.
The shock sprung her into action. She knew a change needed to be made and she couldn’t do it alone. “I’m not much of a runner,” she admitted, “and I don’t enjoy working out.” Without knowing what to expect, she decided to take a class at CrossFit Hud in Indianapolis near her home. Almost immediately, she was hooked and reaping the rewards from her commitment to getting fit.
We asked Dominowski to share her story not just because it’s motivational, but because it seems so accessible: She works a full-time job, spends much time with friends and family, goes out on the weekend and even eats pizza, but has been able to lose weight, change her body composition, get healthier and continues to remain committed to a healthy lifestyle. How does she do it? We asked, and she answered.
EXTOL MAGAZINE: That routine doctor’s visit in 2013 really jumpstarted everything for you, didn’t it?
TAMMY DOMINOWSKI: Oh yeah. In 2013, when I went to the doctor and hopped on the scale and it said I weighed 202 pounds, I knew that I needed to do something. I knew I didn’t like to run and going to the gym was just a tedious kind of thing. Then I saw a Living Social coupon for CrossFit (Hud in Indianapolis, where I now belong) and decided to buy it and give it a try. For that first week, I could barely walk. But the coaches who were there really pushed me to know my strengths and weaknesses, and it started getting easier. So, I stuck with it and it will be three years in August since I joined.
EXTOL: How long did it take you to lose the weight you wanted to shed?
DOMINOWSKI: It took two years and I’ve kept it off for three years.
EXTOL: What was the most important change you made in your eating habits?
DOMINOWSKI: By about October 2013, it hit me that I needed to change my eating habits. … But I knew I couldn’t do that 100 percent of the time. … I prepare what I’m going to eat all week every Sunday. I grocery shop on Sunday morning, and then I prep what I’m going to eat. It takes an hour or two hours, but it takes the guesswork out of everything. For breakfast, I eat two eggs and two pieces of bacon every day. I always know what I’m going to eat for lunch and dinner. I probably have fifteen or so recipes that I cycle through the most often, and I might eat the same thing two days in a row, but I like what I eat. It’s also a lot less waste. I know what I’m buying, and I eat it. I spend between $25 and $60 a week to feed just me. The big thing is to have a list and know what you want to eat instead of just wandering up and down the aisles. Now, if you want to have a pizza or something on occasion, that’s OK. I’m consistent where if I have pizza on Thursday night, I know I’m going to the gym the next day and get back to my regular eating habits.
EXTOL: Many people who set out to lose weight lose motivation. What motivates you?
DOMINOWSKI: I kept seeing results. I physically felt good. I was sleeping better, I had more energy, I haven’t been sick, I haven’t had the flu, and I think it’s because I eat better and I’m physically fit, too. For me, it was also that sense of community at CrossFit and even with the people I work with.
EXTOL: Why CrossFit?
DOMINOWSKI: It was, let’s just try this.
EXTOL: Who has been your biggest supporter?
DOMINOWSKI: Hanley Noel, the owner and coach at CrossFit Hud. He has answered every question I’ve ever had, given me advice, used me as an example in the gym, put up my success story. He wants people to be who they are in their fitness journey. He was probably my biggest supporter in all of this. He was there day one when I dropped myself on my head (while doing a handstand against the wall) because I didn’t have the upper body strength and didn’t think I was coming back (laughs). He knows every member and every injury, and he will ask you about it every time you’re in the gym. He wants people to be safe and he’s very involved with his members. By the way, I can now hold myself up in a handstand. I don’t like doing it, but I can do it.
EXTOL: How do you make time for your health and still work nine hours a day?
Dominowski: It’s kind of funny. The gym is actually on my way home, so there is never an excuse not to go. The classes are an hour, so if I get off by 5 p.m., I’m home by 6:30 p.m.
EXTOL: How has wellness impacted your life?
DOMINOWSKI: I’m actually off medication now. My doctor wants me to come and speak to some of her other patients. I have a lot of energy. I really can’t sit at home anymore. I’ve got to be out doing something. I’ve made friends for life at that gym, and we all know we are there to better ourselves. The biggest compliment I’ve had is three of my friends have also joined the gym, so now they are a part of the journey, too.