"My best friend told me dude, you're too fat. My family told me I was too fat, I was just way overweight," said Sellers.
At 18 years old, Austin Sellers has shed the weight, broken state records, can bench press 725 lbs., and now holds the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters World Championship title after winning in Las Vegas in November.
"I'm never going back. I'm going to become the world's greatest natural powerlifter in history," he said.
And to make sure Sellers was really as strong as he seems, I put him through a few tests -- like pushing my car around a parking lot...tossing a tractor tire around like a paperweight...and bench pressing a four-wheeler.
"In three years, he's done a complete 180, he's just a different kid," said Kevin Stoker, Sellers' powerlifting coach at Hawley High School.
Austin's entire turnaround started when his entire family decided to go on a diet.
"The first three weeks were pure hell. It was real hard to keep on, I just cheated a bunch and a bunch," Sellers said.
"You want to have that desire to lose weight and not everybody can stay with it. He was able to stay with it, lose the weight and then got into this and of course, he's put a lot more back on, but it's a different kind of weight," said grandmother Gail Sellers.
Austin credits his powerlifting coaches at Hawley High for inspiring him to take on a sport he knew nothing about -- and exceeding everyone's wildest expectations.
With a name well-known around the gym, he's now used as an example for what can be accomplished if you set your mind -- and body -- to it..
"I explain to them [the students], three years ago, this kid was like you. He wasn't real strong, he wasn't real good, but he kept working. He kept working and working and working," said Stoker.
And he'll keep working, putting the pounds on so he can keep them off.
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