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'My 600-Lb. Life' takes viewers on ‘Olivia’s Story’ on TLC

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Tonight's episode of “My 600-Lb. Life” gave viewers a glimpse into the life of a beautiful, but morbidly obese woman. This series explores a year in the life of 600-pound individuals trying to regain control of their lives. Olivia is one of them.

As the episode begins Olivia Cruz begins her story, as she tells how she started putting on weight in elementary school. She stated that much of it was due to bullying and molestation at eight years of age; a secret she kept until she was forty. When her twin sister, Olga found out, she was devastated, but by then her weight was out of control. She admitted that putting on weight was how she avoided people.

Seven years ago, she went for weight-loss surgery and weighed 578-pounds. She stated that the weight-loss surgery did not work, and she gave up on herself. She lives in the basement of her mother’s house because all that she needs is on one floor. She is on oxygen and has lymphedema in her legs, and her stomach is so overgrown that it is impossible for her to lift it. She even admitted to attempting suicide. Food is her only comfort, and she knows if any is there, she will eat it.

Olivia found Dr. Nowzaradan in Houston, and she is leaving the house in Chicago for the first time in two years to travel there to see him. Her brother, who lives in Houston agreed to let her live with him. When she arrived, he body was wracked with pain from the long drive.

The next day, she weighed in at 580-pounds. Dr. Nowzaradan is putting her in the hospital for a few days to put her through the test to see if this is going to work for her. She has had two surgeries in the past that did not work. However, after two days of observation, tests and a 1000 calorie diet, the doctors believe she is ready and in need of immediate weight-loss surgery.

She was prepped for surgery, and they removed the previous ineffective lap-band. They removed a long piece of her stomach. When she woke up, she was in severe pain, but Olga was right there for her. Two days after the surgery, she had no cravings and the smells of food upset her stomach.

After four months, she remained in the hospital due to her medical condition, as the doctors feared she would not be healthy enough to leave. Finally, she could leave, after losing 226 pounds in the controlled environment of the hospital and no longer required oxygen. When she arrived home at her brother’s house, she could not make it up the stairs.

After five months, she could start feeling her bones, and even her shadow was so much smaller. At her six-month check up, she weighed just short of 355-pounds. Dr. Nowzaradan was unhappy with her lack of weight loss over a month, and insisted that she cut her caloric intake. He cannot do the surgery to remove the large hanging stomach skin until she is under 300-pounds. A month later, as she was looking through the kitchen, she found a lot of foods that she used to love, but had to refrain from cheating. Today, she and her brother are taking a walk.

On her next visit to Dr. Nowzaradan, she weighed 292-pounds, and he was very proud. The surgery was scheduled to remove the massive stomach skin finally arrived. They had to tie off over five hundred blood vessels, but once removed; the skin mass weighed 40.4-pounds. After this surgery, she should be under 250. When she woke up, she was in severe pain and said that her belly-button hurt. After a few days, she could leave the hospital.

In less than a year, she got her driver’s license back and regained her independence. She and Olga went shopping for clothes. On her next visit to the doctor, she weighed 256. One month later, she weighed 241 and had lost 339-pounds.

When she attended a family reunion, most of her family had not seen her in years and were thrilled at how gorgeous and thin she was. Congratulations, Olivia, you are awesome!

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