Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new to your blog - where should I start? 
You can check out the About Heidi page for more information about me, and you can look at the "labels" cloud on the right margin for topics that might interest you.  Also, my husband and I were selected by Richard Simmons for his Salute to Success story in March, 2011.  We both wrote essays about how we became overweight, and how we started our weight loss journey together.  That's a great place to learn my story.  You can check out my collection of healthy, low-calorie recipes.  You might also want to catch up on some of my favorite posts:

Can you be fat and fit?
A revelation about plateaus
A toast to Harry Potter with low-calorie Butterbeer
Umbrella Fashion Friday
On shame and self-worth
Summery fashion inspiration
On rewards, bicycles, and dresses
The incredible, dyeable egg
The art of balance
Bringer of War  (my short screenplay about food addiction)
On body politics

How are you losing weight?
There are a lot of different things that help me along my weight loss journey, including:
  • Working with my doctors to make sure what I am doing is healthy
  • Working with my therapist, and being honest about my emotions instead of eating to numb them
  • Working with a partner (my husband, Tom)
  • Working with a mentor (in my case, I'm lucky enough for that mentor to be Richard Simmons)
  • Tracking everything I eat, but not punishing myself for overindulging. (I aim for 1400 calories daily, but please talk to your doctor and/or dietician to figure out what's best for you.)
  • Exercising 5-7 days each week, and continuing to challenge myself to get stronger.
You can also learn about my personal recommendations for starting out on your journey, in my "Beginner's Guide" series:
Introduction to A Beginner's Guide
A Beginner's Guide to Exercise
A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Food
A Beginner's Guide to a Healthy Kitchen
The End of the Beginner's Guide

Why are you losing weight? 
For my health.  Other people can be overweight and healthy, but I had health problems that I'm working to correct.  I was especially inspired to take care of myself after watching my mother struggle with her weight, and ultimately lose her life because of it.

Why "Finishing the Hat?" What does it mean?
When I started the blog, I was speaking out for the first time about my creative process.  Previously, I had been quiet about my creative endeavors.  It reminded me a little bit of Stephen Sondheim's song, "Finishing the Hat," in which Georges Seurat sings about being separated from the rest of the people in his life, because he's focusing so hard on his work (and places such value on it.)  I love my creative work, but I didn't want to separate myself from the world, so I began the blog to talk about it.  It was a way I could say, like Seurat said, "look: I made a hat where there never was a hat."

As the blog has developed, the concept of Finishing the Hat has changed.  Echoing my quiet creative process, I used to rarely discuss my health, especially as it related to my weight.  And when I began my weight loss journey in earnest, I realized that I no longer wanted to remain separate from the world, or quiet about the way I've changed my life.  I want to be a part of the world - and maybe even help change it.  So Finishing the Hat became about my journey towards making a whole, healthy Heidi where there never was a whole, healthy Heidi.  It encompasses every part of myself that I seek to develop and improve.  Like my banner says, it's a journey to creativity, health, moderation, mindfulness, strength, productivity, adventure, and self-love.  It's not the really the hat that I'm finishing.  I'm finishing Heidi.  (Which, by the way, is also my Twitter ID.)

Why do you do "Friend Makin' Monday"?
One of the most important things that helps me along my journey toward better health is the love and support of a community.  My family, my friends, and my blog readers all have helped me stay accountable for my behavior, and help me to realize that I am worth taking care of.  Sometimes I answer the question of the week posed by Kenlie at All the Weigh, and am able to get to know other weight loss bloggers.  Sometimes I talk about friends I already know, or friends I've just met.  It's one way to remind myself that recovery from disordered eating is not a path that can be traveled alone.

Why "Weigh-in Tuesday"?
I'm more concerned with my overall health improvement than any number on the scale, but that scale is still a helpful way to follow and track my progress.  I have seen that if I exercise regularly and record my calories, my weight goes down gradually.  If it doesn't, there's a good chance that I'm not being as mindful or as active as I can be.  So every Tuesday morning, post-constitutional, pre-breakfast, at the same time, wearing the same thing, I hop on the scale and record the number.  And, for accountability and openness' sake, I share it with you.

Why "Adventure Wednesday"?
For my creative endeavors, as well as for my weight loss journey, a huge factor in my success is avoiding boredom.  When I get bored, I have less to write about (on the blog, and in my personal writing projects.)  When I get bored, I want to eat.  So every week, I go out of my way to do something new and adventurous.  It keeps me entertained, with a well full of creative ideas, and no desire to mindlessly eat.

Why don't you have a theme on Thursday?
I do, silly.  It's Themeless Thursday.  I like having an open day to post about whatever I like.  Quite often, I share a recipe on Thursday... but sometimes I also pair recipes with one of the theme days, so Thursday is not exclusively kitcheny Thursday.  It's my own personal blank slate. Everybody likes a little white space, don't you think?

Why "Fashion Friday"?
While losing weight, it's become kind of a challenge as my closet is slowly depleted of clothes that no longer fit.  It's always tempting to throw on the things that were once favorites, which hang big and baggy.  Fashion Friday reminds me that I need to embrace who I am - the size I currently am - and take good care of myself, inside AND out.  And it reminds me that no matter my size, I am lovely, and I am worth taking the time to dress up.  My interest in style began before I was on this weight loss journey, I was a proud Fatshionista - influenced by a group of plus-sized women who develop their sense of style as a political means... as a way to voice their right to exist, to be seen, to be accepted for who they are.  I am still a supporter of Fat Acceptance (and especially of Health at Every Size.)

What is Supper Club 600?
As Tom and I began our weight loss journey, we found ourselves cooking more and more often.  And the more we worked on recipes and paired them together as meals, the more we realized how delicious and fun healthy eating can be.  It wasn't a chore like we'd always imagined, it was... almost a fun puzzle to put together in just the right creative way.  Commended for our imaginative use of healthy food by Richard Simmons, we started realizing that we were developing a lot of skills that we could easily teach to people, just by cooking a meal for them and talking about how we made it healthier.  Throw in our mutual nerdly passion for theme parties, and my long history of collecting magazine pages and blog posts about pretty parties... and... ta-dah!  Supper Club 600, a celebration of healthy food in moderation, was born.  We host a party every other month, each with a different theme and menu.  And every time, we present our guests with a delicious, filling dinner - entree, sides, dessert, beverage - that is less than 600 calories, focused on healthy & natural ingredients.  So far, we've hosted an introductory luncheon, an Indian dinner, and a barbecue.  We're on a roll, so there are many more Supper Clubs to come.  If you're local or visiting, and would like to be invited to SC600 in the future, leave a message and let me know!

What is the Cake Pop Quest?
At the beginning of my weight loss journey, I realized that built-in portion control is very helpful to my success.  I have a sweet tooth, but a little of something goes a long way.  So when I heard about cake pops, I was intrigued - and then quickly disappointed to realize that they are usually very high in calories for such a small serving.  Thus began my quest to create the most delicious cake pop for the least amount of calories.  So far I've successfully created low-calorie versions of vanilla, chocolate, lemon and coconut... and keep an eye out for more to come!

Do you do guest posts?
I sure do!  I have written guest posts for other bloggers, and I have also had others publish guest posts here.  If you're interested in posting for me, or having me post for you, please don't hesitate to reach out.  I love to get to know other bloggers!

Are you paid to blog or review products?
I am not paid to write this blog.  If I review anything, I am sharing my honest opinion about it.  Thus far, I have not been paid or offered free goods or services in exchange for writing - but please know that if that should ever come to pass, I will be 100% up-front about any sponsorship.  Ethical blogging is important to me.  If you are interested in sponsoring me, you can contact me at - thanks!

Are you a medical expert?
No, in fact, I am not.  I am just a woman who is losing weight and writing about that process.  I am working with my doctors, my therapist, and Richard Simmons, to make sure I am doing this in the safest, healthiest way I can.  I cannot advocate any specific diets, or promise that anything I do will work for you.  But I do recommend seeking medical help, behavioral therapy, and lots of support in your journey. 

Why do you always sign off by saying "take care of you"?
Because I mean it.  Because I've watched others suffer after not taking care of themselves.  Because you are worth taking care of.  Because we all need to be reminded of that sometimes.