Former “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Caroline Manzo is getting candid about going under the knife.
“Once we stopped doing ‘Manzo’d [with Children,’ which ended in 2017], which I miss terribly, once you go 100 mph, 1,000 mph, and then you stop, you do nothing, it’s kind of like a head trip for you. Then, of course, Marchesa, our granddaughter, was born and I became one of the primary caretakers while [son-in-law] Vito and [daughter] Lauren are at work, and I have the baby three days a week,” Manzo, 57, explained on son Albie Manzo’s podcast, “Dear Albie.”
“From that, my world just started getting smaller because it was the baby and the house every day,” she continued. “With that, my age, I’m going to be 58 in August, those things start to play on your mind a little bit. I started to gain weight in the past year, probably the heaviest I’ve been in my life.”
Shortly after New Year’s, the Manzo family matriarch decided it was time to take control of her life.
“I woke up and I decided that I was spiraling and going to a bad headspace, and I can’t do that for a multitude of reasons, it’s not good for me, it’s not good for the family, and the first thing I started to take control of was my weight,” she said.
Saying goodbye to carbs, meats and soda, Manzo, who said she is “basically a vegetarian now,” dropped nearly 20 pounds. However, she felt there was more to be done.
“My granddaughter, before she goes to bed every night, Lauren FaceTimes me. When she would FaceTime me, because of the weight loss I would notice what I had on my neck,” Manzo said, calling it a “turkey neck,” where “my skin was just loose under my neck and it just freaked me out.”
After visiting her doctor, New Jersey-based plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Zubowski, Manzo decided the next step she would take.
“He said to me, ‘The skin on your face, the fat placement on your face is still very good, but your neck is not going to snap back because of your age and it lost elasticity,’ so right then and there, I said, ‘Okay, let’s do a facelift.’”
Though Manzo is “someone who doesn’t do fillers,” the procedure has flipped her perspective on life for the better.
“Since having it done, and this coincides with the weight loss, my whole entire outlook on life has changed and I could cry thinking about it,” she said. “It really, for me, brought my headspace to a whole different place.”
As for a return to the small screen, Manzo — who appeared on the first five seasons of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” before starring in her family-centric spinoff, “Manzo’d with Children,” in 2014 — said while discussions were had with both the production company and her family, it won’t be happening at this time.
“You come back to me and give me a reasonable compensation, a reasonable position,” Manzo said. “I am nobody’s friend of, ‘Housewife’ maybe, I am ‘Housewife.’”
An OG from the Garden State, along with Teresa Giudice, Danielle Staub, sister Dina Manzo and sister-in-law Jacqueline Laurita, Manzo also said she would be satisfied watching storylines unfold from the comforts of home.
“I’m not thirsty and I told them this, we live a very happy, comfortable life, we’ve gotten used to being off television, and I told them this as well, so for you to ask me to come back under those terms, there’s no thirst here, so either I come back full-blown Caroline Manzo, ‘Housewife of New Jersey,’ and you pay me, or I stay home and I watch you,” she said.
A rep for Bravo did not immediately return our request for comment.