Austin Shifflett was bullied at school and called "fat boy." At one point, he tipped the scale at 324 pounds, but went on to lose 166 pounds (video below).
The 22-year-old, who lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, appeared on "Good Morning America" in December 2015, and made it onto the cover of People magazine's "Half Their Size" issue.
In his heavier days, Shifflett would skip classes to avoid bullies, lock himself in his room and consume junk food such as soda and fast food. Along with his poor diet, he would sit and play video games.
Shifflett thought he weighed about 250 pounds, but when he got on a scale in front of a friend, he was at 324.
"It took everything in me not to break down and cry in front of my friend," Shifflett told Metro.
Shifflett decided to try the low-carb Atkins diet, which his grandmother had lost weight on.
"I started going to the gym late at night when no one would be there to see me," Shifflett recalled. "It took 10 months to lose 156 pounds."
"It changed my life in a lot of ways," Shifflett added. "I was really shy before so it has helped with my confidence levels. It’s really helped with dating and girls, too."
These days he is trying to raise money on GoFundMe to have his excess skin surgically removed.
Shifflett wrote on his GoFundMe page:
"What you guys dont see is the excess skin from my weight loss that has been haunting me since i've lost the weight. I would always tell my friends 'when i lose weight i cant wait to throw my shirt off and be normal and have abs' I was crushed to find out by medical doctors that its not really a possibility without having surgery they went on to tell me that no matter how much i lifted or how much muscle i gained it would never be enough to fill out my damaged skin. Hearing that really crushed me, my hopes and dreams were being put on hold because they classify skin removal surgery as 'cosmetic' and not seen as a health risk which means insurance will not cover the cost."
Shifflett also wants to study sports medicine to help others.
"I have a good understanding and I am passionate about it," Shifflett told Metro. "I want to tell others you have to learn to accept the failures. I failed many times, but you can’t give up."
"You didn’t gain the weight overnight and you won’t lose it overnight, either."