December WOW Employee of the Month- KC McKenzie, Wound Care PA-C
A year and a half ago KC had a wake-up call about his health via his results from the annual hospital wellness blood screen.
“I always knew I was kind of heavy, but the yearly blood screens served as a big motivator for me.”
The year before, KC’s blood screen showed that he had an elevated fasting blood sugar, so the following year he had an A1C test done. The results showed that KC was getting close to becoming prediabetic and as a health care professional who knows the consequences and repercussions of diabetes, he knew that he needed to make a change.
“Just knowing that I was getting close made me nervous,” said KC. “I didn’t want to be diabetic and I had control over it and knew that I had to change.”
A healthy diet and exercise routine helped KC reach and maintain his goals. He found success in time restrictive eating by following a schedule of only eating between 2 pm and 6 pm each day. On top of his eating schedule, KC also makes heathy choices by eating more plant-based foods and lean meats as well as limiting alcohol. A healthy lifestyle is all about balance and KC has found that through his new habits he’s able to enjoy a beer with friends or a slice of pizza on Friday nights through moderation.
“I’ve always been a gluttonous eater and I always failed at calorie restriction,” KC said. “Time restrictive eating has been sustainable for me for over a year now. I like that I can grab a salad at 2 pm, try to get a work out in, and have a modest dinner.”
A little exercise every day is KC’s fitness goal and what he’s found sustainable. He tries to get in a mix of moderate cardio, body-weight exercises, and weight lifting throughout the week.
“Having the gym here at the hospital and YMCA has been super helpful. I love to play noon ball at the YMCA and I really enjoy running intervals.”
When asked what advice he would give to people struggling to make healthy changes KC had one answer, try and try again.
“It would just be to try multiple modalities and find what works for you. We’re all so different and you have to know that multiple things are going to fail and that you just have to keep hacking away at small things until you find what’s sustainable for you long term. Expect to relapse and try to get back on the horse as soon as you can.”
KC’s lifestyle changes have given him more endurance, less stress, and mental clarity. However, the biggest benefit to him has happened at home. He’s able to do the things that he and his family enjoy, like skiing and hiking, as well as just being present for them.
“I go home now with a much better attitude and am able to help my kids with their homework and help my wife with chores,” said KC. “I’m a better husband and a better dad overall.”