“Eighty percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise is where you want to be,” said fitness instructor Marilou Owczarczak.
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There’s no doubt Marilou Owczarczak had the right attitude two years ago when diagnosed with breast cancer. She rode 20 miles in the Ride for Roswell five days after a lumpectomy, weathered 36 radiation treatments and found a 12-week Livestrong program at the Southtowns YMCA to help her get back on her feet.

Owczarczak (pronounced O-zar-ZAK), a group fitness instructor who lives in Lancaster, said she recently turned “50 and fabulous.” Despite her positive spirit, she admitted healthy eating can still be a heavy lift.

Have your eating habits changed since your diagnosis?

Yes. Eighty percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise is where you want to be in terms of getting into a gorgeous, healthy lifestyle, but it’s honestly always been a battle for me. I’ve tried to limit my sugar because I know sugar is really bad. It’s an ongoing process.

What are the staples of your diet?

I like my eggs, whole grains. I don’t eat white flour. I try to eat salads and I’m very limited on my fruits and my veggies, but when I try to focus in, I know that’s the best thing for you. I know what you need to eat. Chicken and fish, I love those.

The food you find hardest to resist?

Chocolate. That was the easiest question you asked!

– Scott Scanlon

On the Web: Learn more about Livestrong and Marilou Owczarczak’s story at blogs.buffalonews.com/refresh

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