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Honeycutt works on his pose before the start of a national bodybuilding competition. The six-time Mr. America finalist and Arkabutla resident has been passionate about health and fitness since he was a teenager, and he now shares that passion through his website, book, and various interviews and speeches.
 
A fitness junkie of over 40 years, Honeycutt said he avoids sugar and processed foods, but does not “live in the gym,” as many assume. At 62 years old, he boasts a body fat of 6-7 percent year-round.
 

Arkabutla resident and six-time Mr. America finalist Warren Honeycutt is on a mission to save America, at least as far as nutrition and exercise are concerned.

As a fitness and nutrition guru, Honeycutt conducts workshops and seminars, participates in television and radio interviews, and runs a website (getlean.guru) that “promotes and helps people understand that beyond nutrition and exercise, they have to put their mind first, prior to those things being effective.”

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years weight loss resolutions just around the corner, Honeycutt hopes to reach people who truly wish to change their bodies and their lives, without all the gimmicks and fad diets.

“On January 1, everyone says, ‘This is the year I’m going to lose weight and get in shape,’” he said. “By January 20, that’s gone. The point is, if it hasn’t worked in the last 29 years, chances are it’s not going to work this year, either. People kind of do that to justify the gluttony of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and all the parties in between.”

Honeycutt’s passion for living a healthy life began with his own personal struggle as a heavyset teenager.

“When I made the commitment, I was at a place where I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror,” he said.

The ability of a person to change what they see in the mirror all comes down to a person’s mindset and way of thinking, according to Honeycutt.

“I’m evidence of it,” he said. “I was a fat kid, and I was a fatter teenager. I didn’t know it at the time, but I went through seven steps mentally, and when I did that, it stuck. I lost the weight, and now I’m sixty-two years old with a body fat of six to seven percent year-round.”

Step by step

 

The seven steps Honeycutt refers to are the “D’s”: dream, desire, decide, design, dispel, determine, and develop.

“The first one is just a dream,” he said. “Paint a picture in your mind of what you want to be. You’ve gotta have something to move toward, rather than the negative ‘I want to lose weight.’ Decide what your perfect self is, and your mind will start to move there.”

Next, “Let that dream become an overwhelming, burning desire, because without desire, there’s no motivation to move forward,” he said.

Possibly the most important step of all is step number three, making a firm decision to change.

Discussing this step, Honeycutt offered one of his favorite quotes: “A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything.”

Most people, Honeycutt said, simply wish for the things they desire.

“When I was 16 years old, I made a decision,” he said. “I mean it was one of those defining moments where you draw a line in the sand, never to cross back over.”

Even those who believe they have made the decision to change may not have made a decision at all, Honeycutt said, and need only to look at their behavior to see the truth.

“If you want to know if you made a decision or not, look at your behavior,” he said. “If it didn’t change, you didn’t make a decision. The only time we make a decision for change is when the pain of whatever the behavior is outweighs the pleasure.”

The fourth step, and a crucial one, is for a person to then make a plan and design their own program detailing exactly how they will meet their goals.

“I’m a strong advocate that everybody needs to do what’s right for them,” Honeycutt said. “There’s not one size fits all of anything, not exercise or nutrition or lifestyles or habits.”

The fifth step, dispel, brings a person’s faith into play. To dispel, in this case, means to clear out any negative thoughts and focus on the goal with a positive outlook and faith that the goal will be met.

“It’s simply a belief in what you want, rather than what you don’t want,” Honeycutt said.

With a plan and a positive mindset in place, the next-to-last step is to move forward with determination. Determination is what Honeycutt said has kept him from straying from his healthy habits for over 40 years.

“I’m not tempted every day to eat ice cream or cake or cookies,” he said. “My mind just doesn’t go there. I feel good when I get up in the morning, and I have energy. I live life with abundance, energy, enthusiasm, passion; that’s living.”

The last of Honeycutt’s seven steps is for a person to reinforce changes by associating with people who encourage them to stay on the path.

A national problem

 

Honeycutt tore into America’s eating habits, pointing out the national statistic that says 35 percent of Americans are obese, and the majority is overweight.

“Our nutritional habits in America are atrocious,” Honeycutt said. “They’re awful, and we’re living evidence, or dying evidence, that that’s the case.”

Because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, Honeycutt points out that the majority of Americans are at a higher risk for cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and other ailments than ever before.

“I really feel that what I do goes beyond just a business,” he said. “Like Winston Churchill said, ‘The greatest asset a nation has is the health of its citizens.’ And we’re sick. We’re making ourselves sick and our kids sick.”

Honeycutt said many people, because of a life devoid of proper nutrition and exercise, complain about feeling physically bad, but they have accepted that feeling as the way things are, rather than taking control and improving their overall health.

One avenue Americans often choose when wishing for weight loss is dieting, a term that Honeycutt despises.

“Diets come with, ‘Okay, as soon as I get over my diet, I can go back to eating what made me overweight in the first place,’” he said.

One simple piece of advice that Honeycutt has to offer is to start small.

“Don’t try to eat the elephant in one day,” he said. “Start making small changes that you know you can live with.”

Those changes might include eliminating late night snacking or exercising for even as little as 10 minutes a day at home.

The best advice Honeycutt has to offer? “If you can conceive it and believe it, you can achieve it.”

Life as he knows it

 

Honeycutt’s hero and inspiration has long been famous fitness master Jack LaLanne, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 96.

“I’ve kind of patterned my life after him, in regard to nutrition and fitness,” Honeycutt said.

However, he admits that in certain regards, he has not kept the same rules as LaLanne, who, from 1936 until he died in 2011, never had dessert.

Honeycutt said he treats himself to ice cream a couple times a year, though he almost always feels physically ill afterward. He compared the experience to the signature cough of beginner smokers, which is the result of bodies that are rejecting the stimulant.

For the most part, Honeycutt said his hard and fast rules are to stay away from sugar and processed foods.

While he acknowledges that healthy foods are sometimes more expensive, he points out the money that will be saved from having to take fewer sick days and pay for expensive prescriptions that may not be covered by insurance.

Honeycutt keeps a packed schedule, and is often on the road promoting his brand and his business, “Get Lean for Life.”

He has a national radio show with Fox (a network with which he is a regular) that will air on more than 1,000 radio stations during the week of Thanksgiving. The content for that show will revolve around how to get through the holidays without packing on the pounds.

During the week of this interview, Honeycutt was gearing up for 12 back-to-back live interviews with the Fox network that were to address celebrity diets.

It does not appear that life will be slowing down any time soon for him, however, as he is scheduled to give about 200 speeches after the New Year. There is also talk of a national television show.

Honeycutt, the author of Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss, was born in Chicago, but his family moved to Arkansas when he was still very young.

He now resides in Arkabutla with his wife of 24 years, Betty (Dean), who travels with him on the majority of his trips and is also his training partner.

When he is not working (though he does not consider what he does work), Honeycutt enjoys karate (he was once sparring partners with World Champion Bill Wallace), traveling, reading, and hiking.



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