CLEVELAND, NC (WBTV) - Some of the things kids used to do to Andy Zheng are almost too awful to describe.
The 13-year-old now describes it in stride, "Kids would call me fat and I was pranked all the time because I was a big kid that would eat a lot."
Andy said sometimes kids would even hit him.
In order to understand the best part of this story, you have to know the worst. Life wasn't easy for Andy, "I thought of myself as useless and I got really sad at one point," Andy said.
Ten months ago he decided to make a change. He started going on nightly jogs with his dad and lifting weights.
"I go to the gym pretty much every day now," Andy says. Pushing 200 pounds in his younger years, Andy has now slimmed down to around 180, but he's bulked up on top of that.
His arms are now 16 inches around. If he wanted to, he could bench press the kids that used to bully him. He could bench press two of them.
"My max is 260 or 270 right now," Andy said.
He works out at 24/7 Total Fitness in Cleveland. Other weight lifters there marvel at his strength and determination.
"He's pretty incredible for only being 13 years old," one lifter said.
Andy doesn't have much trouble with bullies anymore. He credits his weight lifting for that.
"I've gained more muscle mass and it makes kids respect me more. And it gives me the confidence to keep going," Andy said.
Andy hopes to start competing in weight lifting competitions soon and continue to make his body and mind healthier.