We, the Solace coaching staff, are very excited to award our September Member of the Month to Andrea Jarosh. Andrea started her fitness journey by joining our 6-week Transformation Challenge and never looked back. After seeing such great results, Andrea became a member and started Crossfit.
Since starting with us, Andrea has lost 34lbs & is down 12.3% body fat. But Andrea didn’t just make a tremendous physical change. “I have so much more confidence than I ever thought would be possible. I’m always ready to do the work and give it everything I can. The old me would have been too scared to even try. I used to have a fatalistic attitude about everything, especially my health. So when I would slip up, I’d give up altogether. Now when I have an off day or I eat something I probably shouldn’t, I just shrug it off and make a better decision the next day. I trust the process. One lapse doesn’t undo all the hard work.”
Andrea’s key to success – structure and consistency! Results happen by putting in the work day after day. As a pastry chef who works 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, Andrea makes sure she carves out time in her busy schedule to stay healthy.
From the entire community and staff at Solace, we are so proud of both your physical and mental changes. Keep reading to learn more about our September Member of the Month!
Member of the Month
Name: Andrea Jarosh
Hometown: Queens, NY
Occupation: Pastry Chef/ Sous Chef
How long have you been doing CrossFit and how did you get into it? 7 months. I joined the Transformation Challenge in January and at the end of the 6 weeks, I decided to start Crossfit. When I started I had no fitness ability whatsoever. I hit the ground running and never looked back.
What were your thoughts after your first CF workout? I thought I was going to die. My assessment alone was the hardest thing I’d ever experienced. How could four minutes of work be that bad? I could barely walk for the next couple of days and I couldn’t wait to go back.
What were your goals when joining CrossFit? I wanted to be a better, stronger version of myself. I have a family history of obesity, diabetes, you name it- and I really wanted to be the one to break that pattern.
How did you find Solace and what has kept you with us for so long? It took 3 years to work up the courage to join again after a failed attempt to start in 2015. I saw an ad for the challenge on social media and knew it was time. What keeps me coming back is a combination of the people, the location (3 blocks from work) and the variety of classes and times. I have an unpredictable schedule and knowing I can always find a class (which gives me no excuse) is amazing.
Crossfit has played a big factor in improving your health and helping you lose weight. Talk to us about that. I’m really fortunate that I joined Solace at the same time I was diagnosed with PCOS. It’s an endocrine disorder that explained about a decade of serious health issues that had gone undiagnosed for that long. A few weeks later I attend a nutrition seminar at Solace and I really think that finding all of that support and knowledge so quickly really sped up my progress. I was prepared to spend years trying to minimize my symptoms and lose weight. I just kept showing up for class. Three days a week at first, which eventually turned to six. Every day I pushed myself a little harder and trusted the coaches when they said I could push even more. It’s really awesome to not be another statistic.
What or who was the biggest motivator/inspiration? I’ve met so many members and coaches that have just been so open and supportive from day one. I wouldn’t have made it this far without my suffer buddies. When I joined the challenge, it was the same people 3x a week for 6 weeks. We became our biggest cheerleaders. In the beginning, having familiar faces definitely kept me coming back. We still inspire and push each other. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey? Biggest obstacles? Food. The first thing they told me when I got diagnosed with PCOS was to cut out sugar, gluten, most dairy and really limit complex carbs because my body can’t handle them well. I’m a pastry chef. That’s HILARIOUS. Also, despite cooking for other people 60-80 hours a week, making time to cook and eat for me is the hardest. I was always a grazer and never sat down for meals or had a break… I had to be mindful of what I was eating for the first time in my life and that was definitely a struggle. I’m still learning and adapting.
What changes have you made to your daily life, diet & workout routine that have been the most successful for you? I need structure. Consistency is key. There are so many variables in my everyday life, that I knew I needed to take the guesswork out of my nutrition and fitness. I met an incredible R.D/N.D through Solace (Dr. Jaime Schehr!) who changed everything and helped me come up with a plan that worked for my body. I eat the same things every day. Despite a 12-16 hour work day, I also carve out time to show up at Solace, where someone tells me what to do, and it’s always different and I don’t get bored. I may have to run right back to work after, but I’ve made that time for myself.
How has Solace positively affected you both inside and outside the gym? Outside of the gym people noticed a change in me before I did. I’m definitely more patient and focused. Inside the gym, I have so much more confidence than I ever thought would be possible. I’m always ready to do the work and give it everything I can. The old me would have been too scared to even try. I used to have a fatalistic attitude about everything, especially my health. So when I would slip up, I’d give up altogether. Now when I have an off day or I eat something I probably shouldn’t, I just shrug it off and make a better decision the next day. I trust the process. One lapse doesn’t undo all the hard work.
What keeps you motivated? A few people I work with started doing Crossfit after seeing what an impact it had on me. I also met a few members at Solace that also had PCOS and they couldn’t believe the progress I made and it gave them some hope. I think motivating/inspiring other people keeps me motivated because now I have a responsibility to keep it together.
Biggest achievement at Solace so far? There are a lot of tiny victories. Finally figuring out box jumps and how to do a real push up have been huge accomplishments for me. Right now, during the strength cycle, I’m realizing I’m so much stronger than I was a couple months ago and I’m really excited to retest the 1RM.
Current goal you’re working on? I’m hoping to get a few pull-ups in the next six months. I’m currently sinking like a sad sack of potatoes even with the band. I’m really motivated to work on that whenever I can.
Something no one at the gym knows about you. I originally wanted to get into Architectural Restoration before I tripped and fell into the restaurant industry at 16.
When you’re not at Solace, where are we most likely to find you? Working? If you listen closely you can hear me wailing from the basement of the Empire State Building. Kidding.
I’m usually at a concert. After Lemmy and Bowie died, I swore I’d see every band I worshipped growing up before it was too late. My tastes definitely run the gamut from sad bastard country to 80s hair metal and everything in between. I’ve gotten to see some incredible shows and make some awesome memories.
Pre and post workout meal of choice? I usually workout on an empty-ish stomach. Post workout, I have a shake as my dinner since I have a tiny window to have protein. I also go to bed right after I workout and eating a full meal isn’t ideal.
Favorite WOD/least favorite WOD: Murph. It was the first Hero WOD I did, and while I scaled the crap out of it, I actually got through it. My least favorite workout is anything with overhead squats.
Favorite lift/least favorite lift: Deadlifts and cleans are my favorite lifts! Snatches are my least favorite (for now). I think they can sense fear and my limbs never want to cooperate!
Advice for someone looking to start CrossFit? You’d be surprised at how easy it is to start.
Knowing how far you’ve come, if you could give your past-self advice, what would it be? Start sooner! That time you swear doesn’t exist actually does.
Rapid Fire Questions
If you had a theme song, what would it be? “Woman in the Moon” Barbra Streisand (I was obsessed with my mom’s A Star is Born record as a kid, and 20+ years later its still my anthem) or “I’m Still Standing” Elton John
What is your spirit animal? A 300lb biker named Tiny
Drink of choice: Guinness or Sazeracs. 3am wake up calls means I rarely get to have them.
Last picture you took on your phone: My cat, Spike
Last book you read: The Art of Fermentation – Sandor Ellix Katz
Favorite reality show: North Woods Law
Last concert you went to: Smashing Pumpkins
Favorite pizza topping: Clam Pizza from Stella34
If you could have one superpower, what would it be? The ability to manipulate time? A TARDIS would also be great.
One thing you couldn’t live without: Coffee.
Favorite emoji: Shrug or monocle
Last song stuck in your head: “Good Hearted Woman” – Waylon Jennings
Most important item in your gym bag: A bruise balm I made. My shins look like morse code.
First album/CD/cassette you ever bought? No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom
Favorite hidden gem spot/restaurant in NYC: Pylos in the East Village
Favorite healthy snack: Snacking gets me in too much trouble.
Go to karaoke song: “Nowhere Fast”-Fire Inc (from my favorite terrible 80s movie Streets of Fire)
Hidden talent: If I told you it wouldn’t be hidden
Someone you could party with for a night dead or alive, who and why? David Bowie (dead) or Ozzy Osbourne (alive). How long is a piece of string?