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What You Should Know About Bariatric Surgery (Sponsored Post)

8 Apr

This post was graciously sponsored by miVIP at

What You Should Know About Bariatric Surgery

When you can’t keep track of how many times you’ve lost and gained back the same forty pounds, a bariatric procedure may be the answer. Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that focuses on obesity, and there are a variety of surgeries available today that have been proven effective as ways to take weight off quickly and keep it off permanently.

From discovering the underlying causes to developing the best procedures for treatment, miVIP Surgery in Miami specializes in every aspect of bariatrics in order to help people to achieve a healthy weight and live life to the fullest. MiVIP surgeons educate patients about bariatric surgery and discern which minimally invasive procedure is the best fit for each individual. There are three bariatric procedures commonly used to treat obesity.

Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass involves the reduction of the stomach and small intestine. This limits how much food is eaten and how many calories are absorbed. Most patients lose between 10 and 20 pounds per month during the first year, and between 100 and 200 pounds or 50 percent of body weight over 2 to 3 years. This procedure has the fastest results of the three.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Commonly called “the sleeve,” this procedure involves a reduction in the size of the stomach. What is left behind is a small, banana-shaped stomach that won’t take in as much food. Most patients lose one-third to one-half of their body weight over the next two or three years.

Gastric Banding

Like the sleeve, gastric binding decreases the size of the stomach and limits food intake. Instead of removing part of the stomach, though, in this procedure, doctors place an adjustable band around part of the stomach. This slows how much food can move into the stomach’s main area. If necessary, a doctor can tighten the band gradually. Gastric banding typically results in the loss of 40 percent of a patient’s weight within three years.

Following a healthy diet and exercising regularly speeds up weight loss after these procedures. Achieving a healthy weight cuts through the health problems caused by obesity, such as hormone issues, breathing problems, and joint problems, just to name a few. Bariatric surgery also increases life span expectancy. Spread the word about bariatric surgery and help miVIP Surgery in Miami combat the epidemic.

miVIP specializes in minimally invasive procedures using state of the art equipment like the da Vinci SI Surgical System. miVIP helps to ensure that their patients’ needs are met quickly and effectively by providing them without patient care. miVIP also considers patients’ safety and the quality of the doctors performing procedures to be the number one priority. All staff members are put through a selection process in order to ensure that the highest standards are being met. Surgeons are board certified and are always highly experienced in their field of expertise. miVIP is a name patients can trust. To learn more go to


2 Nov

For those of us with altered abdomens, we’re often looking for great products that are convenient and fun in our new post-op lifestyles. is both:  great products that come in fun colors and really convenient for someone on the go!  Founded by two women who really know their stuff and know all about bariatric living. And even better:  they have generously sponsored a $50 Online Gift Certificate for one of my readers!


About BariWare:  BariWare® was cofounded by a Bariatric Surgeon and a Surgical Physician Assistant who currently run a very successful Bariatric Surgical Practice.  Products by BariWare® are designed to meet the specific needs of post surgical bariatric patients, but have found that this product is also suitable for those dieting under a Physician’s supervision, Diabetics, babies/toddlers, or anyone wanting to anyone with a condition requiring small, frequent meals.

I got these two great products to try out:




The shaker bottle is awesome – and I also use it as a water bottle to take with me to work.  My favorite is the Lime Green Bari Bowl set.  It includes two bowls, one tray, one spork, two lids, one knife, and three sizers.  Safe for microwaving (take out of the pouch, though as it’s insulated as well), and is the exact perfect portion size for my lunches.  Now that I’m working at a school, I definitely need a “lunchbox” to take with me to work so I can eat on the go (I travel from school to school for the music program).  I love the fun color, and it’s super convenient and easy for me to take with me.

And as I mentioned before, BariWare has very generously sponsored a $50 Gift Certificate for one of my readers!  You get one entry for each of these items below.  Enter once, or all four times – up to you!

1) Go to the BariWare Facebook Page – like them, and copy and paste this message: “Diva Taunia sent me!  I want to win some BariWare!”

2) Go to the BariWare Twitter Page – follow, and paste the message:  ”Diva Taunia sent me!  I want to win some BariWare!”

3)  LIKE this post on Facebook!

4) SHARE this post on your Facebook Wall!

Contest starts today and ends on Friday 11/8 @ NOON PST.  I’ll announce a winner on Friday evening or Saturday morning.  Good luck!


11 Feb

For the past few days, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend on Facebook:  women complaining about their bodies and why they hate them(selves).  Believe me, I’m not exempt:  I do it too.  But when does it stop for us?  It’s hate-talk, just directed at ourselves.

The other day, I read a beautiful article titled, “So You’re Feeling Too Fat To Be Photographed?” on the blog My Friend Theresa Photography.  She writes:

In our warped minds pictures become frozen mirrors that we can stare at as we pick apart our features over and over again.”

Theresa had been in a serious car accident and realized that had the accident been fatal, her family would have had no photographs to remember her by.  She posted a beautiful family portrait that she took and summed up exactly what WE don’t see when we look at our own photos:


©My Friend Theresa Photography

Do you know what my mom sees when she looks at this picture? Her beautiful family all together.
Do you know what my husband sees? The family he gained the moment he met me (and how much he looks like my dad…)
Do you know what my dad sees? The happy family he has worked for every day of his life.
Do you know what my brother sees? That he got away with wearing shorts… :)

This really struck me, and was incredibly poignant.  Life is not about vanity.  Life is about living.  For those of us who have had weight loss surgery, we *should* know how incredibly lucky we are to have had a second chance at health and are most likely living a life that we never lived before.  Enjoying every day with our spouses, kids, friends, loved ones.  Being able to breathe, to walk, to dance, to MOVE.  Still?  We obsess about the number on the scale and the way we look.  There’s always something to hate:  right now, find everything to love.

When I moved to California, Jake told me that we are not allowed to have a scale in the house.  I panicked.  My entire life had been ruled by the numbers that I would see on there.  When I started losing weight, those numbers validated everything for me.  They showed me progress, they kept me on track, they kept me accountable…at least that’s what I told myself.  The scale was just a new form of obsession since I was not able to eat my obsessions any more.  And five years later, I was still ruled by it, and my fiance’ had the good sense to put a stop to those shenanigans right away.

Let me tell you what has changed in five years and what truly matters: it’s not the fluctuating number on the scale.  It’s not the oft-changing size of my clothing or extra pounds that have snuck back on.  It’s not how trendy or stylish  my clothing is.  It is my life, the one that I am living.

Since I’ve lost weight, I’ve done things that I’ve never dreamed possible.  I danced.  Not only did I dance, but I produced and choreographed a 50+ cast and crew burlesque and cabaret group.  I’ve flown multiple times without needing a seat belt extender or being worried that I wouldn’t fit.  I’ve run.  I’ve walked.  I’ve ridden a bike.  I’ve run around with my nieces and nephews without getting winded.  I’ve loved, I’ve lived, and I’m alive.  I’m alive, and for the most part, healthy.  My body moves.  And right now, with no scale and no knowledge of what my actual weight is, I’m the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been.

My body may not be perfect, but it’s doing things that five years ago were not even possible for me. I have friends who have limited mobility, who are confined to a wheelchair, and would give anything to be able to have their body do what mine can.  How completely and utterly selfish and self-centered of me to not appreciate that, and to not look in the mirror and see how very lucky I am.

I’m begging you – us – to stop obsessing about the scale.  Stop obsessing about the number on the label.  Stop obsessing about the 5-10 lbs you may have put on.  Look in the mirror RIGHT NOW and see how beautiful you are.  How lucky you are to be able to breathe, move, and LIVE. And see yourself the way the people in your life do:  amazing, special, and loved.

You are more than any number to them, I promise you that.


25 Jan

I write a lot of reviews here on my blog, on my Yelp Page, and on my YouTube Page.  When I like a product or service, I generally post about it right away, but it’s rare that I  write more than one review.  The Lash Company is the exception to that rule.  Their customer service and business model is so stellar, that I am writing about them twice.


I am a customer-service stickler.  I get really disappointed by a lot of businesses that don’t place enough value and emphasis on customer service.  To me, it’s truly the backbone of the company’s success, and I’m always amazed at how many companies lack even the most basic elements of good customer service.  The Lash Company & Skin Care Boutique doesn’t  just provide good customer service, they offer STELLAR customer service, and other small (and large) businesses should take note.

My experience with them started with a phone call, answered by Jeremy, who was very friendly and polite, and we even connected in conversation after finding out we’re both East Coast transplants to California.  He had to check on a time for me, but called me back promptly to offer me times and also followed up our conversation with an email confirmation for my appointment (which I LOVED because I’m incredibly forgetful and that reminded me to put it in my calendar).  I was booked for an electrology appointment with Rosie.

When I walked in, I fell in love with the decor – pinks, leopard prints – totally my type of place.  The gals there were super friendly, despite obviously being very busy with their customers.   Rosie came out, introduced herself, and then brought me to the back room and took lots of notes to make sure she knew about my medical history, my concerns, my previous experiences, and my future “wants.”

She immediately put me at ease with great conversation, and she worked really efficiently with minimal pain (which is to be expected, at least a little bit).  I was really pleased with the end result, and the price is very comparable with my east coast treatments ($60/hr).    I just found her to be so personable and professional, I’d highly recommend her to anyone looking for an electrologist.

That appointment was yesterday.  Today in the mail, I received this little note card:

thank you

It was a lovely hand-written note from Rosie thanking me for coming in.  Prompt and incredibly thoughtful, this is the way that customer service *should* be.   I am so impressed with the way they regarded me as a customer, and it’s obvious from their other Yelp reviews that others agree.

Other businesses would do well to follow their lead here:  they showed me that they valued my business, and in return, they’ve got it.  I’ll definitely be returning there regularly, and as shown by my TWO reviews now, I’ll definitely be spreading the word about how great I think they are.

These were small, easy to do things that make a HUGE difference in retaining customers.  In a fast-paced world where customer service is so often neglected, The Lash Company & Skin Care Boutique really stand out as top-notch.  They’ll be getting tons of repeat business from me, and hopefully others!

The Lash Company & Skin Care Boutique
205 N. Glendora Ave
Glendora, CA 91741
(626) 260-3786

Electrology:  Rosie


21 Sep

Underwire Bodysuit With Legs

I have long been a fan of Connie Elder’s “Lipo In A Box” and “Underology Skin Care” lines.  When she and I had first spoken about me reviewing her products, she called me right up and took care and time to see what my body type was, my body issues, my skin type, etc, and sent me a box full of goodies that seemed like they were custom-made for me.  I instantly fell in love with those products and still wear and use them today. I posted a JustinTV review and a written review on my blog as well.  I’m still a huge fun, and have some new products to review for you today.

The first product that I tried out of the “box” was the Bodysuit with Legs With Underwire (available in 3 colors), #46300.  I’m generally not in need of the thigh area being “supported” (which I am grateful for as a weight loss surgery post-op), but what appealed to me was that I could wear this under some of my “
swingy” dressed for when I went swing and latin dancing.  I could dance with confidence knowing that if my skirt spun up, I’d be covered.  The underwire bra is very supportive, it’s breathable (great for when you’re hot, sweaty, and dancing), and very, very comfortable.  Well worth the dollars on this one!

One of my other FAVORITE products from Connie is the “Shimmer & Shape” Convertible Cami, #56632 (which is totally on sale right now and you should get this right now this second!).  As a gal who has a middle section problem AND is large chested, wearing strapless items is often times difficult for me.  Not anymore.  I got this little strapless number a size smaller, and then paired it with my absolute favorite bra from Connie’s line: the “MARILYN” “The Ultimate Strapless” Go2 Bra by Lipo in a Box from her Go2Bras line.  The result?  The perfect amount of support and compression that I needed to wear strapless tops and dresses with confidence!

Connie also sent me one of the newest products in her Underology Skin Care line: the Lactic Acid Gel Exfoliator. This product gently exfoliates your skin, improves skin texture and hydration levels, leading to reduced wrinkles and less blemished skin.  I tried it and immediately fell in love.  There was a slight tingle, letting me know it was getting to work on my skin.  I’ve been using it daily for a little bit now, and I have received SO many compliments in the appearance of my skin.  The same thing happened when I started using her Peptiage® Age Defying Multipeptide Serum last year, because look:

and here’s today:

I definitely think I look my age here (40), but feel very strongly that Peptiage has helped delay (and erase) the wrinkly forehead process that every woman in my family (and I guess, in their 40′s) faces.  I’ve been using it a while and see a HUGE difference in my skin .  This is an as-is photo – no photoshopping, and no editing of any sort.  Loving my skin right now!

I’d LOVE for you to try out all of Connie Elder’s lines!  And to help you to that end, you can use the handy-dandy “DIVAT” discount code for 15% off your purchase!

To shop with Connie, and get some of the best shaping and skin care products on the market, please visit:

MY 1637 DAY POST-OP, WEIGH-IN UPDATE! (With ♥LOVE♥ added in!) (And COSTUMES!)

17 Sep

MY 1637 DAY POST-OP, WEIGH-IN UPDATE!  (With ♥LOVE♥ added in!) (And COSTUMES!)

Just checking in with a weigh-in update, talking a bit about the love of my life. :) Also letting you know about the costumes that I have for sale on my Facebook page here:


Want to keep in touch online? Find me at these places and say hello! :)

My Website:
My Blog:
My Music:

Use coupon code DIVAT for $5 off!



6 Jun

I am so glad that there is respectful discussion happening about this, because I think it’s a really important issue.

I want to remind people that in order to make progress, we talk. We discuss. Please do not take this as an opportunity to openly attack any individual, let’s talk openly and honestly about the *topic*. Thanks for watching! :)


5 Apr

As many of you know, I have a strict no-negative review policy.  Because of this, I’m very selective about my sponsors and I only partner with the companies and products that I truly do love.  And love, I do, my newest sponsor:  Wellesse Liquid Bariatric Solutions:

For any new post-operative patient, these are FANTASTIC.  The doses is small, liquid, and tastes GREAT.  In fact, the calcium tastes like a creamsicle smoothie to me!  Even though I’m four years out and don’t need to have liquids, I have been using them for the past week to try them out, and I’m pretty happy with all of them.  They can be taken as a quick 2 oz shot all on their own, or you can mix them into juice, water, OR try out MY brilliant idea:


Come ON!  How fun would this make taking your vitamins?   I’m serious.  Whip up your little snow cone with any of the great berry and citrus flavors they offer.  I  think that this is really stroke of genius on my part.   Just sayin’.

Most of their  products are sugar-free AND gluten-free (score!), and they’re naturally sweetened with Stevia  (note: not ALL of their products have Stevia – some do have sucralose (the Calcium, Glucosamine, B complex) and the Vitamin D 1000 IU is not sugar free, but they do use Stevia whenever possible!).  Honestly?  I think this stuff rocks and you should try it – especially if you are a brand new post-op searching for vitamins and supplements that are easy on to get down.  And you know I have a Diva discount for you!


Save $5! Use DIVAT

In fact, I think you should have a collection of your own, so I’m of course going to do a super-happy giveaway.  Here’s how it works:


(2) Wellesse Bariatric Starter Packs valued at $55 that includes 2 bottles of the Multivitamin, 2 bottles of Calcium, 1 Liquid Iron, 1 Vitamin D3 and 1 B-12 plus a $25 Wellesse gift card.


Get one entry into a raffle for each of these entries:

  • “Like” Wellesse on Facebook and leave a note on the wall that says, “Diva Taunia sent me!”
  • “Follow”  Wellesse on Twitter and post this comment:  @divataunia sent me!
  • Leave a comment on this blog that says, “I love Wellesse Liquid Bariatric Vitamins”

Two winners will be drawn at random on the Monday, April 23rd radio program at 8:00pm EST.  Wellesse is now an official sponsor of The Backstage Pass Radio Program, and I heart them for that.  Good luck!  :)

TODAY SHOW (VIDEO): Carnie Wilson on lap-band: ‘I had to take action’

4 Apr

Carnie Wilson on TODAY

I think Carnie Wilson is incredibly brave.  She’s always been open and honest about her struggles, and she’s inspired many with her story and struggles.  “Do not be ashamed to ask for help.”  Exactly, and I wish her the very best!



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!


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