"For a long while, I was very against weight loss surgery, but that mostly because I was scared of making such a dramatic and life-altering decision." She admits that weight loss surgery is not for everyone and should not be decided upon lightly, but continually tells people it was the best decision she ever made. "I got my life back. I could move, I could dance, I was free. My health dramatically improved. I no longer had hypertension, pre-diabetes, gaut, or any of the other co-morbidities that plagued me. I founded a 50+ cast and crew production called 'The Diva Taunia Dolls,' which is a song and dance production mix of cabaret and burlesque." Taunia choreographs 95% of every production - something she never could have done three and a half years ago.
Since the beginning, she has very publicly chronicled her weight loss surgery on her YouTube Channel, and continues to publicly discuss her struggles with food addiction, weight gain, and body image. She recently regained 20 lbs due to bad choices and eating patterns. While her initial instinct was to go into hiding, she knew she had a responsibility to be honest about what had happened. "I'm part of a statistic: many post-ops gain back some weight, and I want to let others know that they're not alone. I need to make sure that I continue on a path of healthy living, so I'm taking control of it right now, and being publicly accountable."
She recently started "The Diva Taunia Project," and has enlisted the help of local and small businesses to help her reach her goal. "Through the Diva Taunia Project, I'm able to help promote small businesses AND be publicly accountable about reaching my goal. Every business that signs on will commit to making a $100 donation to one of my three designated obesity awareness charities. Butthey only make the donation if I reach my goal. That puts the pressure on me, but I've always do my best when I'm held accountable."
"October 22 is our next burlesque performance at Gemstones in Lowell, MA. It's the perfect opportunity for me to pay more attention to my eating and exercise. Dancing onstage in a corset will put things in perspective pretty quickly for you! I want to lose 15 lbs and get back to my favorite healthy weight of 165 lbs." (She's 5'7") Her plan is to document the entire journey on her "Diva Taunia Project" website at http://divatauniaproject.blogspot.com/
She also wants to use the opportunity to help others trying to lose weight. She's created the "Losers Club," so that other bloggers will be motivated to approach small businesses in their areas as well. "It's a win-win-win:
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Diva Taunia is an award-winning professional vocalist, songwriter and writer. She's a radio host, a gastric bypass post-op, a burlesque musical director and performer, an educator, a wife, an invincible step-mom, and an opinionated smart ass.