10 Questions with Caroline Manzo

Real Housewives of New Jerseys Mama Bear sat down with ThirdAge to talk charities, weight lossand whats up with everything Jersey? Q: What would say has been the biggest change in your life since you became a reality star? Its really just trying to juggle my house and maintain control of my life as a real housewife. Taking care of my house, my children, my husband, doing laundry, that kind of stuffI wont give that up. Thats the biggest challenge and biggest change for me, trying to maintain normalcy in my home. Q: Youre known to be kind of a tough gal and you seem to always know what you want in life. Is there anyone in particular you go to for advice?My husband. Hes my go-to person without a doubt. Q: You recently lost 20 pounds and you look great. Howd you do it?Again, it goes back to my husband. People think I had gastric bypass, Im only 51! I lost 20 pounds; I probably needed to loose 15. Certainly at that size theyre not going to give you bypass or the lap band. I wish they would, I think the lap band is awesome! My husband had lap band surgery and I watched him lose over 100 pounds through the very simple process of portion control. With his surgery, you cant eat whatever you want because they put a band around your stomach that limits what you eat. So, I just took a page out of that book and I copied him. Q: What makes you laugh?

The stupidest things will make me laugh. I have a very strange sense of humor. It could be an expression on someones face, the body language of somebody. The simplest, stupidest things that would not make someone else laugh make me laugh.

Q: What makes you cry?

Again, the simplest things. I did an interview for TV Guide the other day and we were talking about Captain Phil (from Deadliest Catch) on the Discovery Channel. I just started crying because I remembered when he was dying, he was talking to his son. I thought, Oh my gosh. Can you imagine that? Even a Kodak commercial can make me cry!

Q: What do you think has caused the recent Jersey Explosion? Theres Housewives of New Jersey, Jersey Shore, Jersey Boys, Jerseylicious

As a New Jerseyian, I think we dare to be ourselves. Take us or leave us. Were not worried about being politically correct or what others want us to be.

Q: Speaking of New Jersey, if you were Snooki and The Situations mom, what advice would you give them?

I would tell them, Listen, I understand that youre in the public eye and youre having fun and youre enjoying yourself, but be aware that at the end of the dayand the end of this fifteen minutesall you have is your name and reputation. Maintain that as best you can. Its so easy when youre a kid to allow fame and recognition to get to your head. I tell my kids this all the timemaintain your dignity, maintain your integrity. Because thats all you have.

Q: How do you think the show will change now that Danielles not coming back? I cant even answer that because I dont know whos on it, I dont know if Im on it! Clearly, theres going to be a change, but I dont know what the dynamic will be, I dont know who the players are. Q: At ThirdAge we know you recently became a spokesperson for Stop Child Trafficking Now (http://www.sctnow.org/). What prompted you to get involved with this organization and can you tell us a little about it? It was nothing more than someone who was following me on twitter contacting me. They said, Hey, would you want to come to this event? I didnt know what it was, so they sent me a link and when I looked at it, I was appalled to see that theres trafficking happening right within in our cities, our states. I didnt think it was as big of a concern as it is, or that really that it existed in our country. To think thats going on right here within our boundaries really troubled me, so I said, You know what? Im getting involved. Q: Would you say that nowat almost 50this is the happiest youve ever been?No, I cant say that. There are so many peaks and valleys in life. When my children were toddlers, it was a wonderful time because I was surrounded by these cute, little faces who said the cutest things! In life there are stages, and right now this is a new beginning for me. Im discovering who I am as a person. Its an exciting time, but I wouldnt say its the happiest time. Ive always been happy in my life, so I cant say its been one of the highs or one of the lows. Right now, Im happy to be Caroline, Im happy with who I am. There will be an SCTNow walk in NYC October 9, 2010. Go to http://www.sctnow.org for more info.Nicole Fabian is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
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