Man Who Was 777 Lbs. Loses a Third of His Body Weight to Take Back His Life and Find Love: 'I Was Just Waiting to Die'

04/27/2016 AT 10:30 AM EDT

At 777 lbs., Joe Wexler was miserable.

"Where I had gotten with my weight, I was really just waiting to die," he says in this exclusive clip from Wednesday's episode of My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?. "I wasn't living anymore, and I had no hope to do anything."

But after getting gastric bypass surgery, he's getting his life back, and even has a new girlfriend he met on an online weight loss support group. And thanks to regular trips to the gym, Wexler met his goal of making it under 500 lbs., to 487.

Now he's excited to travel from his home in Houston to meet his girlfriend, Sarah, in Iowa for the first time.

"This is a really big day for me," he says. "I'm flying on a plane for the first time, and I get to meet the woman I love in person for the first time. And I just can't wait."

After purchasing an extra seat next to him on the plane, Wexler heads to the gate, the farthest he's walked in years.

"I want to impress Sarah with my progress, and just show her how active I am," he says. "But I know this is going to be a hard trip for me, and so far I haven't walked this much at once without resting. And it's a little harder than I thought."

The exhaustion gets the best of him, and Wexler trips face first as he's approaching the gate.

"Dammit," he says, as four people help him up. "I'm fine. That was a little embarrassing, and my back hurts a little, but overall I think I'm okay. Mostly just bruised pride."

It's not enough to dim his excitement and optimism for the day, as he continues heading down to the plane.

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"I'm still excited, because this is a big day, and there's a lot to be happy about, no matter how hard it is, I'm going to make it to Iowa to see Sarah for the first time," Wexler says.

"I couldn't be happier about my life, and I'm so excited about my future, and how much I can do now."

TLC’s My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now? airs Wednesday nights at 9/8c.
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