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25 Sep

Hello Lovelies!

So I’ve been trying like heck to balance my new jobs and my wls work and radio program, but I’ve been failing miserably at it.  There’s just not enough hours in the day!

Producing a radio program is a LOT of work.  Without constant attention to detail, coordination, quality guests, products, and information – it’s pointless. I don’t want to get in the habit of doing a show “just to do it.”  I have more respect for my listeners than that, and I want to make sure that I respect people’s time and support.

It really requires such a tremendous amount of time and energy that I know right now, I cannot sustain it.  And therefore, I’m going to postpone doing any additional radio programs for just a bit.

The good news is that I’m still going to be doing LOTS of promotions and giveaways, so the blog is going to be much more active than usual.  I have some amazing companies running some great promotional giveaways here and on The Dress Addict, so I hope you’ll bookmark and come back often! :)

Lastly, I’m considering opening up The Backstage Pass Radio Program to become more of a “network.”  My plan is to come back on air in either November and December, but with an entirely different topic theme:   music, voice, singing, and music education.  I’ll also continue focusing on my love of fashion, so the new programming will be a combination of the two.

What I’d like to do is get some great new hosts to do their own regular weekly program on MY Backstage Pass Radio network.  That means TONS more new shows and content for listeners and the Backstage Pass Radio becomes a network of programming rather than one specific show.

If you think you have a great on-air personality and topic angle, please contact me and let me know you’d be interested in being a host on the network.  I’ll be happy to give you more information.

For now, my time and energy is being spent on my first love(s):  music and teaching music.   The new direction will be bringing a new blog, website, and lots of exciting new ideas.  I hope you’ll stick around for them!  And as always, thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued support.  I’m very lucky to have such a great network of colleagues and friends.



25 Mar


Live chat opens at 9:45am PST.  Come find out who the community nominated!


21 Jun

Recently, I’ve signed on as Voice & Piano Faculty at The Real School of Music.  I’m absolutely loving my new job, and lucky to be able to do what I love!  It does present a scheduling issue for me as I teach pretty close to air time, so I’ve decided to push back the show another hour (to make sure I can get home for air time) and start the program at 9:00pm EST.  The show will still air on Monday nights, just at a slightly later hour.

Please be sure to bookmark the URL at and make note of the new time:  9:00pm EST.   Thanks for all of your continued support!

GUEST CO-HOST TONIGHT! Amy Pederson from Slimpressions

11 Jun

I am super-excited to be joined by the lovely Amy Pederson from tonight.  She’ll be co-hosting with me tonight and we’ll be discussing the importance of a healthy self-image and self-esteem.  Amy will be talking about her new “challenge” at Slimpressions:

The Slimpressions Positive Self Talk Challenge starts now!

And even better?  She’ll be doing a caller-giveaway for one of their Tanks-A-Lot pieces!

Tonight’s program info:

Backstage Pass Radio Program
8:00pm EST
Call-in # :  347-857-2052
Live-chat opens at 7:45pm EST
(scroll to the bottom of the show page to login in and chat)

We welcome and encourage you to call-in and participate in this discussion.  Thanks for tuning in and listening!


30 Mar

My Friday Five series usually focuses on positive topics, ideas, and people, but sometimes something so unbelievable comes my way that I have to bring it to light.  This week’s Friday Five includes one of the most disturbing and blatant examples of weight bias (and racism) that I’ve ever seen.  Please remember:  you have a voice and can be an advocate for change.  With that, today’s Friday Five:


Citizens Medical Center:  Weight Discrimination

In my inbox today was a story about Citizens Medical Center’s no-hiring policy for the obese.  Ironically enough, this was featured in Outpatient Surgery Magazine, who you may remember featured an extremely insulting “comedy” article about XXL patients (written by Dr. John Kelly, who later apologized for his lack of judgement and sensitivity in the article, although the magazine never apologized for publishing it).   I am appalled by what I read.

The CEO has instituted a no-hiring policy for the obese because, as reported in the magazine:

The majority of our patients are over 65, and they have expectations that cannot be ignored in terms of personal appearance,” David Brown, head of Citizens Medical Center in Victoria, Texas, told the Texas Tribune. “We have the ability as an employer to have a policy that says what’s best for our business and for our patients.

Mr. Brown claims overweight workers are absent from work more often than their slim colleagues, although the hospital’s decision to pass on obese applicants isn’t based on health insurance premiums. The hiring policy, notes the report, points to physical appearance and the desire to promote overall health to patients as the hospital’s basis for omitting overweight applicants from consideration.”

The Rudd Center also reports:

“Turning down qualified job applicants because of their body weight is blatant discrimination, and prevents these applicants from making meaningful contributions to their community as competent health care professionals,”  says Rebecca Puhl, PhD, Rudd Center Director of Research and Weight Stigma Initiatives. “The body weight of health professionals, like the general population, varies considerably. A health professional’s body weight is irrelevant in his or her ability to provide appropriate, sensitive, and evidence-based health care to patients.”

If you have been considering using your voice to end weight bias and discrimination, please join the cause now.  This is not an isolated incident of weight bias and discrimination – it happens all the time.   Need to start somewhere?  Consider joining the Obesity Action Coalition and go to their GET INVOLVED page to find out how you can help.


TheTurtleRiot – New YouTuber!

WLS video blog, #2 pre op


H20 HOME – Yes, please!

From RealityPod:

An American Company builds these underground homes on Request. It’s like an underground Submarine made of Glass! Would you want a home like this?

I love anything in, on, or around the water.  I’d live in one of these in a hot underwater second!


Mega Millions Jackpot:  $640 Million
The Washington Post reports that I have a better chance of dying by bee sting than winning the $640 Million Jackpot.  I’m still buying a ticket – and staying away from bees.


Introducing my new sponsor:  Wellesse Bariatric Liquids!

If you are a pre-op or baby post-op, you definitely should check out Wellesse Liquid Bariatric Solutions.  I am pretty selective about my sponsors, and I only showcase and feature products that I really like and stand behind.  I had never tried these (I’m four years post-op and don’t have to worry about pills, etc), so they sent me out all of the products to try and I have to tell you:  I LOVE them.  I think they taste great and are PERFECT for little pouches that need their vitamins and supplements.  I also want to buy a Snoopy Snow Cone machine just so I can make slushies with these, because I’m pretty sure they’d be AWESOME. I’ll be doing a giveaway on the radio show soon, so keep an eye on the Backstage Pass Radio Program page, and also check then out at!

I remember 13: “Introducing Ally”

25 Mar

Today marks the four year anniversary of my RNY Gastric Bypass Surgery.  It’s still sometimes difficult for me to wrap my brain around it:  I’ve lost 150 lbs.  I used to be 311+ lbs.  As I sit and reflect about my life today, I am proud of the decision and lifestyles changes I’ve made.  I still struggle (sometimes a lot), but surgery has made that struggle much more manageable.  I will always be thankful to Dr. Donald Hess and the Boston Medical Center Bariatric Surgery Team for changing my life on March 25, 2008.

I’m also preparing for my radio show tomorrow night, and it’s definitely making me reflect even more on my life – particularly as an obese teenager.  On the show tomorrow is Ally from and her mom, Wendy from  Ally is a 13 yr old cheerleader, singer, and overweight teenager who blogs about her life.  I found out about her after a friend sent me a link of her appearance on ABC’s “The Revolution,” where she discussed being overweight as a teenager.  She also posted a really moving video on YouTube about being bullied at a school dance (click on the photo below for the video):

“I wish everyone could see what I see…everyone’s BEAUTIFUL.”

This video was so incredibly touching and poignant to me, and I immediately knew I had to have this girl on my show.  I’m not sure if Ally  knows the impact that she could potentially have on other teenagers struggling right now, but I know I wasn’t even a quarter as brave, insightful, and inspirational as she is when I was her age.   Here is me at 13:

 I was awkward, insecure, overweight, and at that time, did not have many  people to relate to.  I was the oldest of four and (clearly) had very little guidance on fashion or image.  I struggled to make friends and to find my own identity.  In short, it was a pretty horrific time for me.  I look at Ally – the same age as I was in this picture – and I see this beautiful, totally put together, strong girl with an incredible heart who would have been the most amazing role model for me at the time.  And I know that if the 13 yr old me could have felt inspiration from her, there are plenty of teens right now who could identify with someone as amazing as she is.  And that is why I am having her on the show.

There’s a lot being said about kids and bullying in today’s society, but not much of a big deal is made about the kids that are changing that, who are standing up for themselves and for others.  Teenagers like Ally need to be highlighted as well, because they’re doing really wonderful things in this world and making a much bigger impact than they probably even know.

And at the core of this is the parenting.  Ally clearly has an amazing mom, Wendy, who supports, encourages, and inspires with her own blog and journey.  I’m glad that she’ll be joining Ally on the show as well.  Such an amazing example of how great parenting and great family relationships can make all the difference in a young person’s life.

Please be sure to tune-in to tomorrow night’s program, “Introducing Ally.”  if you have kids or teens struggling with being overweight or obese, this is the perfect time to listen in with them, talk about things openly, and listen to a truly amazing young woman making a difference in the world.

“Introducing Ally”
The Backstage Pass Radio Program:
Monday, March 26th, 2012
8:00pm EST
Live Chat Opens:  7:45pm EST
Direct link to the show:

Program sponsored by:

BJ’s Bariatrics 

Celebrate Vitamins 

Wellesse Bariatric Liquid Solutions

Archived Radio Show: Your Voice & Advocacy in Weight Bias & Discrimination

29 Nov

Did you miss the show last night?  No problem!  Listen to the archived show here:

Many thanks to my guests:  Rob Portinga, Dr. Connie Stapleton , and James Zervios and Joe Nadglowski from the Obesity Action Coalition.  Lend your voice and get involved!

Obesity Action Coalition
Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America
Contact Your Representative
Contact your Congressperson
Contact Your Elected Officials 

GIVEAWAYS! Monday, 11/28 @ 8:00pm

11 Nov

Did you tune in last week for the 2011 WLS Awards Show?  Happy to hear that some of your favorites were nominated and awarded?  Interested in trying out some products from the nominees and winners?  Well this week, as our thanks for your support we’re giving away TONS of great prizes from all your favorites!  Listen for giveaways, discount codes and more.  With the holidays coming up, this is a great way to win some of your favorites AND to shop for the bariatric patient you love!

CALL-IN TO WIN AT            347-857-2052      when prompted!



 Diva Taunia – Host Prize Giveaway!


Carnie Wilson Gift Pack:  includes both of her WLS-Related Books (Gut Feelings & I’m Still Hungry) and her CD “A Mother’s Gift.”


Click Expresso Protein
Winner:  Favorite Protein Drink!


  • 1) A canister of Vanilla Latte (Taunia’s favorite!) & the new CLICK mug
    2) A canister of Mocha Flavor & the new CLICK mug

Special Promo Code Discount Using “DIVAT” :
A FREE Click Mug with every purchase of  canister of Click!
Please note:  this promotion is exclusive to my readers!  It doesn’t go live until Cyber Monday, so enjoy your free mug before everyone else! 

Please be sure to “LIKE” Click on Facebook:

Official Website:

Nominee:  Favorite Overall Bariatric Company! 


(2 ) -A 30 day supply bag of Bariatric Advantage
Chewy Bites – one bag per caller

Special Promo Code Discount Using “DIVAT” :
Free shipping on your purchase! 

BONUS RAFFLE GIVEAWAYS! will also be giving away TEN Blender Bottles in a raffle giveaway!   You can get up to 3 raffle entries by doing the following:

  • Go to Facebook Page and “like” them!
  • Leave a comment on this blog entry in the comments section
  • Be sure to “LIKE” my page on Facebook and leave a comment on the wall.  If you’re already a fan of the page, just leave a comment on the wall for your entry:

“Eat It Up” by Connie Stapleton
Winner:  Favorite WLS or Obesity-Related Book
Winner:  Favorite WLS or Obesity-Related Author 

Copy of Connie Stapleton’s Book:  “Eat It Up”

Please be sure to “LIKE” Connie on Facebook – CLICK HERE

Official Website:

PRIZE:  High-Waisted Control Shaping Panty
Your choice of color! 

Winner:  Favorite Shaper or Compression Garment
Winner:  Favorite Shapewear or Compressions Company

Save a whopping 40% off your purchase!
Please visit the Diva Taunia Slimpressions Store: 

Please be sure to “LIKE” Slimpressions on Facebook - CLICK HERE

Official Website:

Monday Night, 11/28 @ 8:00pm EST


8 Nov
(Scroll down…)

(I’ll be sending out individual winner buttons – per category – within the next few days.)

Diva Taunia

Diva Glam!

The Annual Backstage Pass Radio Program WLS Awards is dedicated to celebrating those making a difference in the WLS Community. The WLS Awards are *nominated by* and *voted on* by members of the WLS Community.  Any person, business, or charitable organization that is part of the weight loss surgery and bariatric community is eligible, EXCEPT Diva Taunia.  (I cannot be nominated for any category since I’m the host and organizer – but thank you!!)

On November 7th, 2011, we announced the winners for the 2nd Annual Backstage Pass WLS Awards. The community nominated their favorites, and the top three nominees in each category were then up for public voting.  All of the winners from this program were voted in by their friends, peers, and colleagues in the WLS Community!

To hear the 2011 Winner Announcements on The Backstage Pass Radio Program, please visit:

To hear the 2011 After-Party & Acceptance Speeches with my pals at please visit:

THE 2011 NOMINEES AND WINNER LIST (winners in each category are highlighted):

Favorite YouTube Personality:
  • GastricRose
  • MeltingMamaMelted
  • WLSBloggerPatricia

Outstanding WLS Community Member:

  • Andrea Sopher Ullberg (Vitagarten)
  • Shelly Vicari (The World According to Eggface)
  • Yvonne McCarthy (JustYvonne/Bariatric Girl)

Favorite Gastric Bypass Patient:

  • Patricia Miller
  • Melting Mama
  • Cari de la Cruz (Bariatric After Life)

Favorite Duodenal Switch Patient:

Favorite Gastric Sleeve Patient:

  • Rachel Winton (Sleeve Pixie)
  • Waning Woman
  • Michelle Riess Scheiner (VSG Mom)

Favorite Lap Band Patient:

  • Tamika Bryant (ANuMe1109)
  • Wendy Campbell (bandedwendy)
  • Katie (Newtoy4kt)

Favorite Mini Gastric Bypass Patient:

  • Carey (FreshOrangina)
  • Dr. Rutledge Page Patients (DrRRutledge)
  • Larell (TheLaRell)

Favorite WLS Media Outlet:


Favorite Bariatric Vitamin & Supplement Company:

  • Celebrate
  • Bariatric
  • BJ’s Bariatrics

Favorite Bariatric Small Business:

Favorite *Individual* Obesity-Related Blog:

Favorite *Business* Obesity-Related Blog:

Favorite WLS Veteran (5+ yrs out):

  • Melting Mama
  • Shelly Viari (Eggface)
  • Gastric Rose

Favorite WLS Newbie (2 yrs or under):

  • Patrina McBride (patrinastrippedbare)
  • JJVidro
  • Vicky Cassabaum

Favorite WLS or Obesity-Related Forum:

  • Bariatric Bad Girls Club
  • Obesity Help
  • Bariatric TV

Favorite Shaper or Compression Garment (Individual Item):

  • Slimpressions – “Have Nots” (
  • Slimpressions – “Tanks a Little” (
  • Lipo In A Box Bodysuit with Underwire (

Favorite Shaper or Compression Garment COMPANY:

  • Slimpressions  
  • Spanx
  • Lipo In A Box

Favorite Protein Drink:

  • Click Expresso Protein
  • Isopure
  • Nectar

Favorite Overall Bariatric Products Company:

  • Nashua Nutrition
  • BJ’s Bariatrics
  • Gastric Bypass

Favorite WLS or Obesity-Related Charitable Organization:

  • Obesity Action Coalition (
  • Walk From Obesity (
  • Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (

Favorite Bariatric Surgeon:

  • Dr. Dan Proctor – Georgia
  • Dr. Paul Cirangle – Hawaii
  • Dr. Guillermo Alvarez – Mexico

Favorite Plastics/Reconstructive Surgeon:

  • Dr. Timothy Katzen, California
  • Dr. Francisco Sauceda – Mexico
  • Dr. Theodore Uroskie -Virginia

Favorite WLS / Bariatric-Friendly CHEF:

  • Chef Dave (
  • Shelly Vicari (
  • Carol Bown Ball (

Favorite Bariatric-Friendly Recipe:

Favorite Bariatric-Friendly Snack:

  • Kay’s Naturals Honey Almond Cookie Bites
  • Nashua Nutrition  Proti-Diet Chocolate Soy Cereal
  • BJ’s Bariatrics Chocolite Protein Bars

Favorite Bariatric Meal Supplement:

  • Celebrate Vitamins ENS Shakes
  • Chike Nutritional Shake
  • Nectar Chocolate Truffle

 Favorite Overall WLS DUDE:

  • Rob Portinga (
  • Travis Waddell (
  • Reinventing Ed (

Favorite Overall WLS CHICK:

  • Shelly “Eggface” Vicari
  • Melting Mama
  • Waning Woman


  • Janine Hallewell / New Zealand
  • Kristen / IAmKris in Germany
  • MexKaty VSG / Mexico


  • Antonia Namnath / WLSFA (
  • Andrea Ulberg – Vitagarten (
  • Yoni Freedhoff (

 Favorite REVERSED or REVISED WLS Individual:

 Favorite WLS or Obesity-Related BOOK:

  • Vitagarten Lab Tracker Book (
  • Eat It Up – Connie Stapleton (
  • Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Well After WLS

Favorite WLS or Obesity-Related AUTHOR

  • Andrea Sopher Ulberg
  • Connie Stapleton
  • Erin Shaw

Favorite WLS ARTIST:

  • Nicole Buckley (saphre64)
  • Patricia Miller Designs
  • Quilting Connie



29 Sep
Monday, October 3rd @ 8:00PM

Let’s face it:  while most of us make the decision to lose weight for health reasons, I think we’d be lying if we didn’t admit that having more fashionable options is a major bonus after weight loss!  Tonight’s program celebrates really fantastic fall fashion and online shopping for both men and women, of all shapes and sizes!  Find out about some great companies that really support our community, and win some great prizes!

My pal Tom Blanchard (winelover215) will be on as my guest-host and will be reviewing ad giving away some of our male-fashion for us.  Tune-in and be sure to call when prompted to 347-857-2052!

Click Expresso Protein

Discount Code:  “DIVAT”

Offers:  The most kick-ass expresso protein on the planet!

You get the backpack too! :)
Shabby Apple Dresses

Prize:  One Dress from Selected List HERE

Discount Code:  “DIVAT”  = 10% off!

Offers:  Women’s Dresses, Vintage Dresses, Retro Dresses
Note:  Dresses tend to run slightly large – nice! :) offers a return to what women’s dresses are supposed to be:  one piece dresses that make women feel beautiful, stylish, and feminine for what they wear, not what they bare.  Shabby apple is a company for women, by women, and of women, and they donate a certain percentage of their net proceeds to charitable causes serving and women and children.  And the dresses?  Vintage, retro, and current chic!

Christian Siriano for

Prize:  Women’s Fallon Flap Crossbody Bag

Offers:  Shoes, Bags, Accessories
Note:  This is from the new Christian Siriano (of Project Runway Fame!) line from Payless

Serious style in a classic design, this crossbody bag from designer Christian Siriano features rich, faux suede construction with sleek patent trim and high-shine goldtone buckle accent, magnetic front flap closure, inside zipper pocket and two open pockets, and an adjustable crossbody strap with a 21-24″ drop.

Prize:  One Selection from the photo line (left)

Discount Code:  “DIVAT”  =  TBA

Offers:  The Haves, The Have-Nots, The Skinny Mini, and The Tanks-A-Little

A 2011 WLS Awards Nominee, Slimpressions has some of my favorite shapewear on the market today!  Slimpressions was designed for every day wear, so their pieces are designed for comfort, quality, and fit.  As seen in InStyle, Redbook, Women’s Day,  and What Not to Wear, Slimpressions meets the need for women looking for comfortable shapewear solutions!
Did you miss the exclusive offer from Slimpressions last week?  Well, not to fear!  Be sure to take advantage of the exclusive offer for my audience using the DIVAT discount code!  (Also, psss:  sign up for their mailing list for exclusive deals, offers, and discounts!)

Moral Eyes

Prize:  Selection of Glasses from the website

Discount Code:  “DIVAT”  =  25% off plus double the donation to New Eyes for the Needy



For every pair of MoralEyes eyewear purchased, they donate a pair of reading glasses to someone in need through their non-profit partner New Eyes for the Needy.

MoralEyes is a philanthropic eyewear wholesaler and retailer founder Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes.  For every pair of MoralEyes eyewear purchased, they donate a pair of reading glasses to someone in need through their non-profit partner, New Eyes for the Needy.  To date, they have donated over 7,500 pairs!  In addition to their one-for-one practice, MoralEyes recently launched a nationwide eyeglass recycling initiative, producing branded collection bins and distributing them on behalf of New Eyes. Moral Eyes offers stylish reading glasses, sunglasses, attitude glasses and accessories for men and women.

Adam Baranello Clothing Line

Prize:  Free Piece of your choice from the line!

Discount Code:  “DIVAT” = Mention this in the message box and get ANOTHER FREE PIECE OF YOUR CHOICE!

Adam Baranello is a NY independent artist and musician under his own label, AJB.  He paints his designs on the t-shirts, and every tee is a one of a kind, handmade shirt!  In addition to being an artist and clothing designer, he’s also a co-owner of a dance company.  Talk about talent!
Gravitote Green Glam Bags

Prize:  Gravitote Bag Prize Package

Discount Code:  “DIVAT” = 33% off ($3 off $9 bag)

These adorable green-glam bags are sturdy enough to carry your heaviest groceries, but so super cute that you’d want to throw it over your shoulder and take to the gym or on errands.  VERY well made and lightweight.  They come rolled up into themselves and pack up to practically nothing.  Unfolded, they’re a great durable size that can hold up to 40 lbs.  Even better?  Machine washable!  Win a prize pack of bags for your own!
Made Men Apparel by Michael Gambino
Prize:  Two tees from the Made Men “Strictly Business” Line

Discount Code:  “DIVAT” = TBA

Made Men Apparel by Michael Gambino is luxury streetwear including tops, tanks, t-shirts, caps, hoodies and more.  They strive for perfection and produce long-lasting quality apparel with tons of hot new products to come – so keep an eye out for new apparel! | 
Prize:  $35 Gift Certificate to either site

Discount Code:  “DIVAT” = TBA

Whether you’re looking to spice up your love life, find that one perfect lingerie item, or need a pair of some of the sexiest shoes on earth, Divas & Godesses and has got you covered!  Celebrating all shapes and sizes, Becky offer regular sizes (Diva) and plus sizes (Goddess) for every size!  With pieces designed to show off every woman’s curves and make her feel glamorous and sexy, there’s something for every Diva.  Owner Becky Norwood has been a long-time supporter of the bariatric community, and is also a sponsor of The Diva Taunia Dolls Burlesque!

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