04/04/2013 at 11:00 AM EDT
Get new nose. Check. Get new cheeks. Check. Tell Mom. Oops.
Vicki Gunvalson's own mother didn't even know her Real Housewives of Orange County
star daughter had gone under the knife
until she saw the new look on the show.
"And she saw me right after surgery," Gunvalson told PEOPLE Wednesday at the Bravo upfronts for TV writers in New York City.
Despite negative comments that have been stirred up regarding her overhaul, the original Housewife is staying positive.
"It's my body and it's my life. I'm only trying to make myself look the best I can be," she says. "I can't really worry about the haters. I just want to be with the lovers."
Despite "some cartilage reconstruction on my nose ... some fat injected in the upper part of my cheeks [and] a little chin implant," Gunvalson tells PEOPLE she doesn't even think she looks all that different.
"I did it right when we were filming because I was really numb, but now I don't think it's a big drastic change."
As for how she is handling reaction from the other Housewives, "I have to take it with a grain of salt," she says. "We have to work together. Some days you're going to agree with your cast members, and some days you're not. You just have to deal with it."