Lifestyle Health Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino's Family Was 'Shocked' When They Saw His Prison Weight Loss "They were practically crying when they saw me," says the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star By Julie Mazziotta Julie Mazziotta Twitter Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes. People Editorial Guidelines and Aurelie Corinthios Published on November 26, 2019 01:33 PM Share Tweet Pin Email It was a big day when Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino was released from prison back in September. Not only was he free after serving eight months for tax evasion — he also had a whole new body to show off that “shocked” his family. The Jersey Shore: Family Vacation star worked out regularly in prison, and came out on Sept. 12 over 30 lbs. lighter. “Everyone was shocked when they first saw me,” he tells PEOPLE of the day he was released. “They said I looked like it was 2009 again. They were practically crying when they saw me.” And in the two months since, Sorrentino has kept it up. He heads to the gym five to six times a week and does intermittent fasting; going 16 hours without food on the weekdays and 17 to 19 on the weekends. That helped him lose another 5 lbs., putting him at 40 lbs. down. “I didn’t think that I was going into this shape again. I didn’t think that I was going to get my abs back this quickly, but it just goes to show you what diet, exercise, hard work and determination will get you,” he says. Mike Sorrentino/Instagram How Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino, 4 Years Sober, Is Helping Others Battling Addiction Sorrentino says his family also thought he would go back to a more indulgent lifestyle after prison. “Everyone thought that I was just going to come back and be eating my best life every single day,” he says, explaining that he wasn’t interested after he had “lost all that weight.” RELATED VIDEO: Jersey Shore‘s Mike Sorrentino and Wife Lauren Reveal They Suffered ‘Heart-Wrenching’ Miscarriage That doesn’t mean, though, that he’s stopped eating his favorite food — funfetti cake — entirely. “Listen, everyone loves Funfetti. Just now I practice living my best life, or eating my best life, on cheat days with my wife,” he says. “I really am proud of the body that I have and the 40 lbs. that I lost, but at the same time, you always need that one cheat day, which we do once a week.” And Sorrentino and his wife Lauren are planning a major cheat day (along with the rest of the country) this Thursday for Thanksgiving. “We are going to be living our best lives,” he says.