Do you remember when you finally made the decision to have weight loss surgery?  How excited you were to FINALLY know that you were going to tackle it head-on, but then also get really nervous about how you could possibly pay for it?  Would insurance cover it?  All the worry, all the anxiety about it.

Many of us, myself included, were lucky enough to have the surgery covered by insurance.  My life has been entirely changed for the better since that decision five and a half years ago.

I just read about a contest today that Riverside Surgical Weight Loss Center / Sebastian River Medical Center is running:   two winners will win a free weight loss surgery procedure.  Two people can have their lives changed forever!

One of the contestants is someone who’s become quite active in our community.  Her name is Anna Vasquez, and she WAS in second place but has slipped to third place.  WE have the power to help her get her numbers back up.  It takes only a few moments to vote, and you can vote every 24 hours.  How great would it be to work as a community and see her win?

This is Anna.  Look at that smile.  I think she’s cute as a button, and I want her to win. You can help!   Click on her photo and it will take you to the page to vote:


Just “like” the page, then you can immediately vote for her – every 24 hours.  And I KNOW this community can help her win this.  Just a few clicks, and you could change someone’s life.  Go, Anna!  :)

“The Real Skinny” – New TLC Program Featuring Dr. Timothy Katzen and Sarah!

If you’re part of the weight loss surgery community, no doubt you’ve run across two really fantastic people:  Dr. Timothy Katzen and Sarah Holbrook (SarahWillBe Skinny).   Sarah was the recipient of the first WLSFA plastic surgery grant, and Dr. Katzen was the amazing doctor who performed her surgery.  Both are really positive and really active members of the wls community, and I couldn’t be happier to hear that they’re being featured on a new TLC Program called “The Real Skinny.”

The show is set to air on Monday, March 12th at 10:00pm EST.   March 12th just happens to be the three year anniversary of Sarah’s weight loss surgery, and she’s been such an inspirational part of our community – it the show will highlight her experience with weight loss surgery, excess skin, and plastic surgery with Dr. Katzen. Mark your calendar to watch the show and support these two fantastic members of our community.  Congrats to you both, and I can’t wait to see the show!

More Information:

Dr. Katzen’s Website:

Dr. Katzen on Facebook

Sarah on YouTube:  SarahWillBeSkinny
Sarah on Facebook: SarahWillBeSkinny
Sarah on Twitter: @SarahBeSkinny

Watch Sarah’s Video Here:
Watch me on “The Real Skinny” on TLC 3/12


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(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



The lovely Amy at OLDBOOKNEWLOOK on YouTube! From Amy’s Channel:

I am a musician, writer, and teacher. I love to dance and do just about anything outdoors in the summer. I hate the cold but I live in Maine – go figure! I’m excited about starting a new chapter in my life and reclaiming all the things I love to do but haven’t been able to because of obesity. I am working hard to develop the skills learned through my bariatric program to help keep the weight off for the long-term after surgery and help me live a healthy life! I’m using this channel to document my journey, connect with others in the WLS community, learn as much as possible about this new life I am starting, and to help support anyone I can who is going through a similar journey – or even just thinking about it!

if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘18770a23-0a26-4e44-827f-b791ca579f84’);Get the Diva Taunia’s WLS Lovely Feature widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)


For those of you who listen to The Backstage Pass Radio Program, you probably know that I often run a segment called “The WLS Lovely.”  I have been extremely fortunate to have such a great community of supporters, and this in my way of giving back. The WLS Lovely Feature is a way for others with a YouTube page and blog to get the friends and support they need.  

In the past the feature has been a live interview on the show, but I’ve also added another segment here on the blog.  If you look on the right hand side, you’ll see a new widget I’ve created that showcases a WLS Lovely for each month.  To kick-start this new widget, I’ve highlighted the lovely and gorgeous PatrinaStrippedBare for the month of July!  I would love for you to show your support and subscribe to her, and also share her page with others.

Interested in becoming featured?  Please drop me an email at with a link to your YouTube page ad/or blog.  I will add everyone’s name to a raffle and randomly draw a name for the next month’s feature.

As a little sidenote:  I’ll be away from July 20th until August 2nd.  I won’t have a lot of access to email and the internet, so don’t fret if you don’t hear back from me.  I’m just enjoying the sun in the Dominican Republic!🙂