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Former NFL Cheerleader Shares Keys to ‘Vibrant Living’



Molly Shattuck was a 38-year-old mother of three when she picked up her poms for the Baltimore Ravens, making her the oldest cheerleader in NFL history. Her “Vibrant Living” offers a 21-day plan to “transform your body, burst with energy and live your life with purpose.”

The rules she created are based on decades of careful study – of herself.

“My experience comes from my years of living,” says Shattuck.

When she retired a few years back, she took everything she learned from her time in training and created a program for wellness. She now crisscrosses the country leading workshops and teaching people how to live better. Her book is based on the premise that we are all a product of our decisions, not just our DNA.

One fundamental: water.

“Water is the wonder drug,” says Shattuck, who realized the power of hydration after the birth of her first child. The more water she drank, the more milk she produced and the faster she lost the 50 pounds she’d gained during the pregnancy.

Her recommendation for people trying her program? Drink at least 90 ounces a day. The first 30 should come within 40 minutes of waking up, and before eating breakfast. Finish the second 30 before lunch, and the final 30 before dinner.

“You’ll be so much more awake, and it keeps you from overeating,” Shattuck says.

That’ll help you stick with her 21-day meal plan, which limits processed foods and loads up on fruits and veggies. And when you want to splurge? Just have a little.

“Put seven french fries on the plate, chew them slowly and enjoy it,” Shattuck says. Then, “walk away, drink water, brush your teeth and be done with it.”

You can balance out any extra calories by embracing Shattuck’s strategy of exercising daily. When it comes to what to do, Shattuck is open to any activity – and the more you can mix it up, the better.

She recommends copying her every-other-day pushup routine, which she credits for keeping her stomach taut. (“I’d heard of an NFL player who didn’t lift any weights and became muscular from push-ups. I decided, ‘I’m going to try that.’ Now I’m 100 percent convinced,” Shattuck says.)

In her book, she offers 21 days of workouts. On top of that, she tacks on an additional daily “knockout move,” such as leg lifts and lunges. Get up during commercial breaks when you’re watching TV to check those off your list, Shattuck suggests.

Besides the many other reasons why sitting is bad for you, Shattuck is convinced that pressure on your rear end can make it get wider.

The last piece of her plan: “living for others” – by volunteering in a soup kitchen, reading books to the elderly or finding another way to help out in your community. Shattuck says it has a real impact on how you feel.

“I know it doesn’t sound as important as exercise, but it elevates your spirit and mood,” says Shattuck.


About the Author

James, East Coast Correspondent