14 June 2012 1:24 PM, PDT | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

"Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Caroline Manzo once labeled her daughter, Lauren, as "eight pounds of sausage in a five-pound bag" -- but not anymore. The 24-year-old has slimmed down from 185 pounds to 155 following Sept. 21 lap band surgery.

"Getting the lap band was the best thing I've ever done in my life," Lauren tells Us Weekly. "When I first got it, I didn't want to tell anybody. So many fans related to my struggle, I didn't want to feel like I was letting them down."

Lauren had previously tried programs like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and La Weight Loss to drop the pounds.

As for her mom's comments about her weight, Lauren says it was a motivation for her. Incidentally, her dad, Albert Manzo, has also had lap band surgery, losing around 100 pounds.

"If my mom weren't so blunt with me, I wouldn't be as happy as I am today, »

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