It's funny, but for as far back as I can remember, I've always been overweight.

You know in kindergarten when the teacher is going over shapes? Well, that's when it really hit me.

My teacher, Mrs. Carden, had a bunch of laminated pieces of construction paper cut into different shapes. She would tape them to the white board and then talk to my class about why each shape was called what it was.

The yellow triangle had three sides. The green square had four sides of equal length. The red circle? Well, that was me.

"That looks like you," Shawn said (I still remember it like it was yesterday).

I looked up and knew Shawn was right. The other kids in my class were skinny, able to sit cross-legged with ease, smiling… and my face turned as red as the circle. I was really round.

By the time fourth grade rolled around and we had to do the Presidential Fitness Tests in gym class, I started to loathe myself (although I probably didn't know it at the time).

While other kids were doing 50, 60 or even 70 sit-ups in a minute, I was struggling to pump out 10 that were legitimate. Running didn't go much better. And pull-ups? Forget about it.

That's when I pretty much gave up and accepted that I'd always be the fat kid. No lettering in high school sports for me. But on the bright side, I decided to eat as much and as often as I wanted. Hey, I was already chubby, right? And besides, no one wanted to me on their kickball team at recess anyway.

But that was the least of my worries. As time went on, it became more and more evident to me that kids were treating me differently because of my weight. I didn't get invited to birthday parties. No girl ever asked me out. And at lunch I was pretty much forced to sit at the outcasts' table.

I was pretty much lonely. Oh, I had a few friends. They were geeks (and I mean that in a good way), but they weren't “cool”. They just … were. And I was just the fat kid. And I was lonely.

I went to college hoping things would be better, but the cycle that had existed since Mrs. Carden’skindergartenclass just repeated itself. A couple of people to hang out with, no house parties, no girls.

This, I told myself, was not how life was supposed to go.

So I looked online and found BeLiteWeight. I liked their website and the gastric sleeve surgery option, and their patient testimonials really made me realize that being overweight is not a lifelong struggle.

Gastric sleeve surgery basically makes your stomach smaller so you feel fuller faster, and don’t end up eating because you’re emotional or bored or whatever.

Last year I went into meet with them. They were super awesome ladies and really made me feel comfortable about the procedure.

A month later I had gastric sleeve surgery in Juarez, Mexico with Dr. Elmo and Dr. Rod. Amazing surgeons at a truly amazing facility (which I was very skeptical of going in because Juarez is, after all, known for its connections to drug cartels).

Today, I'm down 168 pounds. I feel great. I'm in the mix. Girls notice me. I'm playing rec league basketball (and getting picked first–told you I had a wicked jumper). And now I look more like a banana than an apple, which still reminds me of that one kindergarten class when this all really started.

It’s pretty remarkable how much one surgery can really change your life.