Although I’ve ragged on Freelee’s rag-cup videos before, she does have some great diet inspo.

It’s just that I dunno if the way the diet gets championed is a blanket answer for everyone whose lifestyles are so… different from hers. But let’s backtrack for a sec. First, I’ll say that I can’t argue that this “Raw till 4” (the routine where you eat mostly fruits all day and can eat heated vegan noms for dinner) thing work pretty effing fantastically. It does. It’s worked great for me. But I remember several years ago when I was first being intro’d to her advice, thinking things like, “How the fluff does somebody – on a whim – afford to throw out their whole fridge and replace it with that sea of this juicy snack smut I’m looking at?”

Her suggestion was to nix all your non vegan food and replace it with the above. Pronto.

My internal reply?

Eyebrow-raise level: James Franco.

I mean, I tried it. And failed. And had a sea of fetid fruit sitting around marinating in its own putrefaction while I marinated in guilt at wasted funds. I was shell-shocked at not having cheese or dairy creamer or the stuff I still ate that was processed. It was the perfect… failure set up. No worries – there’s a good ending. But it had to come after a slow transition. I tried the cold-turkey (pardon the pun) diet switch and it didn’t work for me. The only thing that’s worked has been listening to my body and being open to the swap when my internal nom clock says “I’m ready to quit ___ (meat/cheese/dairy/coffee/in that order)!” That’s why so many questions came to mind. Can I afford all of that? Will I be miserable on this diet? Can I really eat a sack full of dates daily like she does on topp’a everything else she has and be the spectacular skeletal yet healthy energetic creature she is?

And, I say, the answer is: yes. If you’re her.

Or any dietary Youtuber like her who gets recognized the second she steps into a juice bar. Or anyone who’s focusing on food and health for 90% of their day. (Hi. I’m Ashley. And I manage my eating disorder by pretending I’m famous and obsessing about healthy food and exercise). For many who don’t, though (and even some who do), I think we need a little time for adjustment and willingness to commit… versus an immediate fridge purge. That’s the thing, though. When you’re a food Youtuber, your success becomes a positive feedback loop that helps you more than it does the people you’re claiming to help. People (young women, namely) see your so-far success and subscribe to your channel. Give you video hits. Share it so others do too. Buy your book. Buy your merch. Then, suddenly – assuming you had a day gig to begin with – you can fckk it off and lose those last five to ten pounds that’ll really reel in your target audience by doing multiple cycle outings on the daily and traveling to places where Giardia will pump the rest out your rear corridor as you forage for food that matches your nom needs. ’cause you’ve got two things other people who comfort-eat bad shit don’t: 1.) time away from the rat race and 2.) money funded by rat race runners in hopes they can be like you.

On top of that, now that your body is your main drawing cause, the pressure’s on. Even if you want to lapse, you can’t, because if your ass goes out to pasture, so will your fantastic new lifestyle, internet fame, and finally… money. Otherwise we’d have fat models and get non-celebrity losers to champion stuff like Jenny Craig. Fortunately – if you’re a vlogger – you don’t have the former-food-addiction distractions like Jane Doe does in her cubicle staring into a digital abyss all day long while Bob from accounting brings up donuts for everyone. No. If your job is not only to look hot but to make videos about how you stay hot, then you’re constantly recording people, places, and things that reinforce this lifestyle instead (it also helps if you get yourself a supportive boyfriend who’s also in the same line of work).

“Wee! You funded this fruit and now you can watch us eat it! You can take the bruised fallen one, ThxLOL”

If that’s you, you’re not in a cubicle. You’re eating cubes of watermelon because you had all day to spend recording and time lapsing it for the web world to watch later when they get home, fling their pumps in a corner, climb on the couch, chug a jug of melted Ben n’ Jerry’s through a straw, and say, “I wish I could do that.”

That might sound snarky.

He’s not wrong. But, honestly, I’m not throwing shade here; homegirl’s worked hard to get where she is.

And that’s great.

In fact, I’m lucky in that I’ve been able to follow it enough too that I can vouch firsthand for how well it works when you don’t have a typical job. Who knows – maybe it’d work even if I did (have a typical job), too. But I know I’d be a lot less willing to try something new after a full day of task slaving under my belt and a toxic commute. Change is hard when you’re bewildered with thoroughgoing exhaustion. But I’ve enjoyed that whole working-from-home thing long enough to confirm that fruit all day, cooked vegan stuff after four, and multiple nature-workouts are a great no-starve way to lose ten pounds easy. That’s nice for me, who’s had the space like Freelee does to make and enjoy the change long enough to realize it’ll be worth keeping and making time to fit it into my life as it gets busier. Not everyone has that advantage. Their brains get beaten all day till they seek comfort food – and then on the other end, they get desperate and seek drastic measures.

In the end, for most of us, a good Youtube vlogger is just a seemingly more accessible self directed movie star. More so if they’ve got something to sell. Like a book. You see their videos, their success, their vacations, all the food they can afford, their adventures… and you think, “Maybe I can have that too.” I won’t say you can’t. You can. But between the daily decision fatigue, initial rebound weight gain from former shitty diets, and general life-sucking-ness that most day jobs and all the assholes they’re imbued with cause… it’ll be hard. I mean – DO it. Do it if you can. Do it if you’ve got the intrinsic fortitude and willingness to change while wearing blinders in a hell of your own making. I’d love it if you did. I adore a good overcoming all odds story. All’s I’m saying is that I appreciate your plight and understand that it might just be a tid bit tougher to pack in those multiple $1,500 bike rides (which I’m sure she thanks you for – after all, you bought it for her!) twice or thrice a day. But that’s only if you’re doing a 9 to 5 that doesn’t involve motivation via views and narcissism.

All snide aside, I still dig the bish. I’ll still watch her for tips (and because: hot). And I genuinely hope my reverse psychology attempt here via this whole “the hardest thing about the easiest way to lose weight is your mind” message worked well enough for you to check out her videos and get inspired enough to at least try some of it. Just don’t, ya know, get caught by the boss watching ’em on company time.

Or… do.

I mean, if you get fired, you’ll suddenly have Freelee level free time to morph into a foodie Youtuber yourself.

All problems solved.