Tonyia described herself as a very anxious person, and she allowed herself to overeat when she had that anxiety. She also went through depression. "When I felt that, I ate and it felt good. That still feels good now, I just eat differently." For example, she'll have fruit when she's craving something sweet and crackers and tuna if she's craving something salty. "I'm from Louisiana, my family eats chitlins and chicken and gravy, and everything's fried," Tonyia said with a laugh. But she cut back on flour and sugar, and she takes vitamins daily.
Tonyia told POPSUGAR that, after her bariatric surgery, she had to cut down what she was eating even more (which is typical). "I can't eat a lot, but I eat often," she said. Here's what a day of meals might look like for her:
- Breakfast: an egg with vegetables like spinach and onions
- Snacks she'll eat throughout the day: grapes, blackberries, a banana, vegetables, nuts, crackers (sometimes Cheez-Its), etc.
- Dinner: baked chicken, broccoli, and brown rice or quinoa
Note: Tonyia also said that, when you have bariatric surgery, you have to space out when you drink and when you eat. "If you're thirsty and you drink something, then you'll have to wait almost 30 minutes before you can eat because your stomach will not be able to handle all of that liquid and food," she explained.
Tonyia added that eating healthier was important from the start, especially in the wake of her hysterectomy. "I've been in menopause since I was in my 30s," she said of her history with cervical cancer. "So my metabolism was at a zero. . . . I had to kick-start it with eating right. Then, having [bariatric] surgery was what was going to prevent the weight from coming back." Getting fuller quicker and not being physically able to stomach as much food, she said, helps keep the weight off, but she still maintains her healthy eating habits. "That is something that has gone to the better and really hasn't turned back."