By Emily Strohm and Charlotte Triggs
February 09, 2016 at 04:07 PM EST
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on

Teresa Giudice is officially a free woman, and now the Real Housewives of New Jersey star is revealing all the details of her 11-month stay in jail.

From her first moments as in inmate to learning of maggots in the food, here are the most shocking details of her prison diary.

• Teresa, 43, had to squat and cough during her first strip search at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. “I have never felt more vulnerable in my life,” she said of the experience.

• She never watched Orange Is the New Black. Even though Danbury inspired the hit Netflix TV show, Teresa still didn’t want to see it. “I just wanted to go in and figure it out and see everything for the first time on my own.”

• Her four daughters — Gia, 15, Gabriella, 12, MIlania, 10, and Audriana, 6 — lost it when she left for jail. When it was time to turn herself in Teresa says her daughters were hysterical. “It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my whole entire life.”

• Feminine products had many uses in prison. Inmates used maxi-pads for everything from facemasks to makeup removers, slippers and cleaning rags. “I laughed the first time I wiped down the floor and my locker with a maxi pad. I couldn’t help but think, if only everyone could see me now.” But the one that surprised the reality star the most? A prison-style sex toy made with a maxi-pad a toothbrush and a rubber glove. “I never cared to use anything like that, but I have to say, the women in there are so creative.”

• Teresa witnessed nightly sex sessions and hookups between her roommates. “The ladies were getting it on so much that our room became known as the Boom Boom Room,” she said.

• She worked out three times a day, lost 8 lbs. and went down two to three sizes. Teresa did everything from running on the track to lifting weights and exercise classes, but she became most passionate about yoga: “It got me though this whole ordeal, and I can’t live without it now.”

• Maggots at meal time. Hot dogs and hamburgers were often on the menu at Danbury, but Teresa wasn’t a fan of the meat. She tried her best to eat healthy and have salad whenever she could, especially after word got around someone spotted maggots in the rice!

• Fights went down over watching television in jail. Danbury only had five televisions for 200 women to share, but Teresa says despite the drama she was never scared. “I’m pretty strong. I think I could handle myself.”

• Her birthday on the inside. Giudice’s inmate friends surprised her on her 43rd with a special dinner of chicken, linguini and cookies. She also got gifts including a pair of crochêd booties and lotion from the commissary. But the party wasn’t a one-time thing. The women had regular get-togethers to celebrate inmates leaving at the end of their sentences.

• The rumors of Joe cheating on her while she was in prison never bothered her. “We’ve been married 16 years, and we’re both devoted to each other.”

• There were no conjugal visits, but that didn’t bother Teresa. “I think that’d be kind of weird,” she says. “Just not the right setting, you know?”

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