Dolores Catania of the Real Housewives of New Jersey isn’t afraid to open up about her troubles with weight loss. In fact, the reality star is surprisingly candid about it compared to other celebrities, even revealing in an interview that it’s been an issue from the start: “My whole life, [weight] has been a struggle for me because growing up in a Italian family, portion control did not exist,” says Catania. “As I got older, hormones kicked in and I packed weight on very easily. Then, I would find myself sometimes binge eating because filming [the show] is stressful and I’m a nervous eater.”
You May Also Like: 4 Real Women Share the Healthy Habits That Helped Them Lose 20+ Pounds
In order to lose weight without opting for surgery or partaking in a major lifestyle change, Catania decided to try Obalon, the first and only swallowable balloon system for weight loss. The procedure involves the patient swallowing a capsule that houses a balloon, which is then inflated to reduce weight by making the patient feel “full” sooner. “Obalon seemed like the best thing for me because it was all about not letting you overeat. It’s a tool that teaches you how to eat the right amount,” says Catania. “It was just amazing for me. It was the best thing I ever did in my life.”
Ahead, we interviewed Catania on her experience with the procedure. Read on!
NewBeauty: Many people are put off by the way the Obalon balloons are inserted. How was that experience for you?
Dolores Catania: That experience for me wasn’t really hard. The Obalon [balloon] is filled with air and you don’t go to sleep for it. You swallow a capsule and then they blow it up once it in your stomach. You are fully awake the whole time.
NB: Once the balloons were already inside, how did the treatment affected your everyday life in terms of diet and exercise?
DC: Well it doesn’t really affect anything except that you basically can never overeat again. Once you get the balloons, you finally realize how much you were overeating before. When I go out to dinner, I eat a quarter of what I would have normally eaten because you feel so full so fast. I didn’t want to give [the balloons] back but you can’t have them for longer than six months. Now I sometimes catch myself eating and saying to myself that I’m overdoing it because I wouldn’t be able to eat this much with the balloons. I have lost another 10 pounds since I got them out, and because of the weight loss, I now have more energy and I feel so much better—my clothes finally fit!
NB: How has this changed your body?
DC: I lost four inches in my waist, five inches in my hips, a half inch in my arms and two inches in my thighs. In total, I lost 15–20 pounds. I’m maybe 12 pounds away to almost being back to what my body was like in my 20s.
NB: What advice would you give to people who are getting the treatment for the first time?
DC: Make sure you change your whole lifestyle of eating, not just a portion of it. Follow good nutrition as well and don’t just think that the balloons do all of the work. You have to put in your own work too.
NB: Because you talk so positively of this procedure, we’re assuming you would recommend it to friend. Are there any other in-office treatments you would recommend?
DC: Yes! The HydraFacial—it’s awesome. I did it the other day loved it. There’s also a new treatment out called Emsculpt that tones up the whole body—it’s equivalent to 12,000 sit-ups or something crazy like that. But don’t go get any procedure until you give your 100-percent to losing weight. Go make sure your hormone and thyroid levels are in check as well.
Interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.