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Bariatric Wednesdays Radio (8/6 @NOON PST) – Guest Host Dagny Kight

31 Jul


The Backstage Pass Radio Program is sponsored by Wellesse Premium Liquid Supplements.  Visit them today at 

 Read Taunia’s articles on the Wellesse Vital to Health blog!

Every first Wednesday of each month (always at noon, pst), our show is dedicated to bariatric, weight loss surgery, and weight loss topics.  This week, my good friend Dagny Kight will be filling in as host for me. Dagny is an active health and wellness advocate and the author of Powerful Hunger.


Today’s program is all about well-known sayings and what they mean to you, or how the make you feel, and we’d love for you to discuss this on the show.  The phone line and live chat will be open that day, or you may leave comments on the blog here.  Examples:

  • We’ve all heard “Diets don’t work.” What do you think most people think of when they hear that phrase? Do they take it literally? What does it mean to you?
  • .A widely-recommended weight loss strategy is “Think like a thin person.” How does that make you feel? Do you think it’s a legitimate strategy for losing weight? How DO thin people think??
  • When people hear “Weight is not an indicator of health” they often interpret that in different ways. What does it mean to you? What do you think most people believe it means?
  • What do you think people mean when they say “Weight loss surgery is the easy way out. It’s cheating.” Why do you think people use this as an insult? There are a lot of angles to consider with this one!
  • What does “Fat Acceptance” mean to you? It’s closely associated with “Health at Every Size.” The Association for Size Diversity and Health lays out specific principles for FA and HAES but they are interpreted many different ways. Tell us what they mean to you and how you think others view FA and HAES.

Read more:–bariatric-wednesdays#ixzz394PSgXnY



28 May

Wednesday, July 2nd @ NOON, PST
opens 15 minutes before showtime
Please email me at

Have ideas for talking points, questions, or discussion topics? Please email me or leave them in the comments section below.  Thanks!


I recently read a very interesting article by Marianne Kirby on xoJane called, “I’VE ONLY GOT 1 THING TO SAY TO FOLKS WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND FAT ACCEPTANCE,” which was a response article to Carolyn Hall’s “6 THINGS I DON’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE FAT ACCEPTANCE MOVEMENT.”  The article has almost 600 comments – which are incredibly interesting, provocative and informative all at the same time.

As a former morbidly-obese woman (311+ lbs), I am incredibly sensitive to the bias and stigma against overweight people. However, I struggle with the terms and ideaologies that are core to the Fat Acceptance movement.

Today’s discussion will feature a panel of smart, intelligent folks from both sides of the table discussing the ideas and issues.  My aim is to keep the discussion respectful and moderated.  Interested in being on the panel?  Please email me at:


Diva Taunia
Dagny Kight – author of Powerful Hunger
Stay tuned for more panelists!

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


Burlesque Babe – New WLS Patient

13 Aug

This lovely gal, Heather B,  posted on my Facebook Diva Taunia Music page and very sweetly gave me a little shout out. I think she’s just cute as a button and I’d love for folks to give her some support and wls love as she starts on her journey. :)


30 Apr

If you’re a parent, teacher, school administrators or school volunteers, you’ll want a copy of “The Learning Connection: What You Need to Know to Ensure Your Kids Are Healthy and Ready to Learn” for ideas on how to create healthier school environments. After all, healthy children are better learners.  Source:  Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity.



20 Mar

WLS Post-Ops—Understanding Conditioning and Fitness: Part 2 of 3

powerful hungerWhen you’re ready to start making exercise a regular routine, you want to be sure your efforts will be effective in achieving results. So what does it really mean to ”Boost your metabolism”? How do you know if you’re conditioned and fit? Is it about how much time you spend on the treadmill or how sweaty and exhausted you get? What does it really take to burn that magical number, 500 calories?

I gained a great deal of valuable knowledge in the studies required to earn trainer certification. To understand how to focus your exercise efforts, I’d like to share some basics with you.

We sure hear a lot about the metabolism! But what is it, actually? Your metabolism is the cumulative term for the many chemical processes within your body that convert fuel into energy and supply it to your cells so you can function. You probably tend to think of it primarily in terms of burning calories for physical activity but your metabolism keeps your brain processing thoughts and your heart pumping blood.

Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body uses in a day just to keep you alive. Click here to calculate your BMR.

BMR calculations are considered generally accurate for people with an average ratio of muscle to fat. The BMR formula will overestimate for people with more fat. At my former weight, an estimate of my BMR would have been 2232 calories to lie in bed all day. After my weight loss, It takes about a third less calories per day to maintain a body of half the size. Did you expect a greater difference? Consider also that the BMR at my higher weight was probably an overestimation.

Muscle is more “metabolically active” than fat; the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will use. A discussion of building muscle is beyond the scope of this post but I will say in general the bad news is it’s far more difficult to build solid muscle than most folks think. Generally, the body increases muscle mass when muscles are challenged with resistance training—lifting weights. To illustrate one case, in 2009 I undertook a very tough 12-week program working with a bodybuilding consultant and a powerlifting trainer. While the change in my muscle definition was quite visible, my weight changed by only 4lbs which was probably less muscle gain and more fat loss that allowed the definition to be more visible.

Fitness isn’t measured in how many reps you can do or how wiped out you get. To be fit, you must condition the most important muscle in your body—your heart. The efficiency of your cardiovascular system will determine how much oxygen you can take in and how much oxygen-enriched blood volume your heart can keep circulating. The more efficient your heart, the longer and more intensively you can exercise which determines, in large part, how many calories you can burn.

You’ve seen that your body size has a lot to do with how many calories you use. And while you do burn more calories to move a heavier body, that body probably can’t exercise very long or very hard. To exercise more intensively and increase your calorie burn, start by conditioning your heart with cardio activity that raises your heart rate. The goal would be to maintain an elevated heart and breathing rate for 30 minutes at a time. When I first began to exercise, I could use a recumbent stepper for one minute. I improved over weeks and months by seconds and minutes. As long as you keep challenging yourself, it’s fine to work at your own pace.

So if you work your hardest, would you burn 500 calories in an hour? You’d have to maintain a steady burn rate of more than 8 calories per minute for the whole hour. Exercising for a solid hour is the trick for most people! Just about everyone greatly overestimates their calorie burn. Using a skin-contact sense-wear armband, I’ve determined that my maximum per minute burn rate is about six to seven calories at my present level of physical conditioning. A young man I worked with was able to reach 12 calories per minute when he worked at maximum intensity but he could not maintain that pace for long. Bottom line, you must improve your level of conditioning to increase your body’s ability to burn calories during exercise.

Well, we’ve faced the cruel reality! It’s harder to build muscle and burn a lot of calories than you may have thought! So how about this “boost your metabolism” stuff? When you put in a good exercise session, your body will continue to burn calories at a higher rate as it winds back down. The duration and intensity of your workout will determine how long that “afterburn” will last. So if it takes vigorous activity to raise your metabolic rate, do you really think it can be true that eating some particular food is going to raise your metabolism? Chew on that!

In the last post of this three-part series, I’ll provide some strategies for integrating heart-conditioning exercise into your regular routine.

Dagny Kight has maintained a loss of 170lbs since WLS in 2005. In 2010 she earned trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine to work with others who dreaded exercise as much as she did. Find information about Dagny’s book and read her blog at


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

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! :)


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