Woman Who Lost Almost 400 Lbs. Struggles to Qualify for Skin Removal Surgery

04/13/2016 AT 03:50 PM EDT

Three years ago, Olivia Cruz weighed 580 lbs. and spent her days hiding away from the world in her parent's basement, waiting to die of obesity.

With the help of doctors in Houston, Cruz, 49, managed to save herself with weight loss surgery, dropping almost 400 lbs. But since successfully losing the weight, she's spent the last couple of years stuck at around 200 lbs., and blames the lack of progress on her ongoing medical problems.

Now that she's finally recovering from knee surgery, Cruz wants to get skin removal surgery – but her doctor, Younan Nowzaradan, thinks that Cruz is unmotivated, and won't go through with the procedure until she loses more weight.

For now though, Cruz is just thrilled that she can get back to living a normal life.



"I can go back out in society again. And I can make a living for the first time in almost a decade and a half," Cruz says in this exclusive clip from My 600-lb Life: Where Are They Now?. "Just three years ago, I was barely able to move, and barely able to take care of myself at all."

"Now I'm a completely different person. I'm able to be part of society again and go out in the world."

RELATED VIDEO: From a Size 52 to 30: One Transgender Woman's Inspiring Weight-Loss Journey

And with her surgeries behind her, Cruz is determined to finally meet her dream of becoming a chef.

"I had to stop training because I couldn't stand and move around like I needed to," she explains. "But now that I can stand all day, I'm going back to pick back up where I left off. And I'm so excited about that. The future I hoped for is so close now."

"For the first time since I can remember, I can be active as much as I want, without having to use my cane or rest my knee," she says. "I'm so excited that my dreams are not just hopes for the future now. They're literally starting to happen."

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