Written by Dylan Gerstley

Focus, foundation, and the future

Kacy Allen describes his childhood as “non-traditional.” But that non-traditional journey taught him how important loyalty, personal responsibility, determination, curiosity, and education are to improving yourself.

“I was raised by mainly just my mom,” explains Kacy. “We lived in Los Angeles until I was about three years old and then moved to Atlanta to be closer to family.”

The move back to Atlanta gave Kacy the chance to better connect with his relatives, and once he turned 12, he was begging to help out on his uncle’s watermelon farm in South Carolina.

Planting the seeds for the future

“I was out in the South Carolina heat, picking watermelons in a field that touched the horizon,” shares Kacy. “Bending down to pick up these huge watermelons, twisting them off the vine, and then throwing them to the guy on the dump truck to stack for sale later. We would drive the truck into Augusta and have to do the whole stacking thing again for display and then again to pack up and go home.”

This kind of backbreaking labor opened Kacy’s eyes to the power of education and the doors it could open; he knew he had to do everything he could to create the best future for himself. And as he watched his single mother work three jobs to provide for him, he was surer than ever.

Determined to enjoy his life and take advantage of every opportunity, Kacy began to teach himself about the stock market and investments through the local paper. When he ended up at the University of West Georgia, about an hour outside of Atlanta, Kacy started studying investments for his career path.

“I worked in investments after college and had just over something like 300 clients in Georgia,” says Kacy. “After a few years, my wife got a military transfer to central Pennsylvania and I followed, intending to continue building my practice doing investments, but I ended up back at school [in Bloomsburg, PA] to become an accountant.”

Kacy attended Bloomsburg University for his accounting degree and afterwards, KPMG recruited him. His quick transition into an accounting role emphasizes how Kacy is willing to grow to accomplish his goals, something he’s focused on throughout his life amidst personal challenges.

A personal battle

“I grew up very overweight, even in elementary school,” explains Kacy, who stands at an impressive 6’5″. “Since then, I knew I wanted to get rid of the weight to improve my quality of life. I wanted to be able to get around without panting, play with my friends, and enjoy it. I didn’t want to be weak in my old age, I wanted to be in decent physical shape.”

And eight years ago, the effort Kacy was doing for his health finally started to make a difference.

His journey began with 30 to 45 minute walks, a phase that Kacy admits lasted years. “Mentally, I was only up for those walks — they were my starting point.”

However, the walks gradually became part of Kacy’s daily routine, and soon, he needed new clothes. But, after buying a few outfits and enjoying the way he looked and felt, Kacy fell off his routine and felt his new clothes getting tight.

A turning point

“For me, the biggest thing with goals is about solidifying what you want,” explains Kacy. “I knew I wanted the weight off, and after having to go back to my old clothes, I’d really had it. I put my foot down and told myself I was never going back to those old clothes.”

Kacy’s resilience and determination resulted in massive changes and his focus on fitness impacted every part of his life. Now, Kacy’s first workout begins at 5 a.m., with an hour of heavy lifting before a 30-minute cardio session. Schedule permitting, Kacy returns to the gym at the end of the work day for some light lifting and another 30-minute cardio workout. The dedication and growth has inspired some of his coworkers and created a unique foundation for authentic relationships.

“At this point I’m down about 190 pounds,” shares Kacy. “And doing this everyday has gotten other people involved. Now a lot of us in [Siegfried’s] Atlanta Market head to the gym after work. I give some advice and help people learn how to progress through it and it’s brought us all closer together.”

Even though Kacy’s transformation has been drastic, he stresses that it wouldn’t have been possible without small change. “It starts with drinking water,” Kacy says simply. “People always ask me about how I did it, where did I start, so I stress small changes like drinking water. Drinking water doesn’t put you out of breath, it doesn’t make your muscles sore, and it doesn’t make you tired. The biggest inconvenience is going to the bathroom all day,” he jokes.

Learning new things

Kacy’s personal battles and growth inspired him to try to learn as much as possible. New perspectives and ideas may not always apply directly to how Kacy wants to live, but he absorbs all the positive aspects from each new experience.

“It’s like with meditation,” said Kacy. “I don’t sit in a room with my eyes closed and all that, but I’ve taken the benefits and tried to apply them to my day. I do mini meditations, when I’m sitting in traffic, and take four or five deep breaths. It helps me find some space to change my mindset.”

Kacy’s outlook on learning has come from raising his two daughters, ages 14 and soon-to-be 22, and watching them learn new things every day. “In raising kids, even when think that they are completely ignoring you, there’s still a subconscious intake from whatever the lesson is, there’s still a part of it that will resonate on some deeper level.”

Valuing loyalty and dependability

Having bounced from Atlanta to Los Angeles and then back to Atlanta with his mother, and then moving to Pennsylvania and back to Atlanta again with his own children, Kacy has come to value loyalty and dependability very highly.

“Whatever I commit to I truly try not to quit. I just try to plug away and be consistent and be a good example for my daughters,” Kacy confides. “I just want to show them what not quitting looks like. My mom remarried when I was 15, and my stepfather did that for me, he was very consistent and meticulous in the way he took care of his business, you could almost set your watch by what he was doing.”

Kacy’s loyalty and determination go beyond accomplishing professional goals. In all of his relationships, Kacy tries to put loyalty first. “I pride myself on being a loyal friend. I might not do everything you want me to do, but if I say I’m going to do something, you can count on it.”

#WorthMentioning

  • Even though Kacy has become well-versed in physical fitness, his family refuses to workout with him. “They feel like I’m a bit of a drill sergeant when I get in the gym, but I’m just happy to be an example for my kids.”
  • Peaky Blinders and Sons of Anarchy are some his favorite shows and he enjoys strong writing and character development.
  • His hometown inspires his music taste: “I’m from Atlanta, so of course I like Outkast and Goodie Mob, and nowadays I enjoy the beats from guys like Future and Gucci Mane.”
  • Kacy still remembers the day Coming Out Hard by 8Ball and MJG was released. “It was one of those albums that everyone wanted to listen to the day it came out but we had to tiptoe around the parents just to hear it because of the lyrics.”
Photos by Nikki Rumph (Shots by Nik Photography)

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