AUNTY AG & UNCLE ONY

This week, Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony advise a dieter who can't shift the pounds and a couch potato who's fading away. Plus what should an animal- lover do about rats?

Over the past six weeks I have gradually implemented a sensible programme of exercise that involves walking, running and rowing, and I have been trying to stick to a healthy low-fat diet. I am very disheartened because so far I have lost a grand total of only 2lb in weight. I am on the verge of giving up. How can I motivate myself when the rewards of all my efforts seem so paltry?

Lucinda, Hove

Aunty Ag: Weight is tricky stuff. Doctors say it's a simple correlation between what we eat and how much we burn off but we all know that is moonshine. Sometimes you can gobble like a hog for weeks and not put on an ounce; other times one banana too many causes a weight gain of half a stone overnight. No one knows why fat behaves so strangely: perhaps the fairies bring it in the night. Or perhaps you are being punished for misdeeds in a past life - maybe in your last reincarnation you were a pastry cook or something. However, do not despair. You will not make yourself feel better by cutting off your nose to spite your face and going on a pork pie and cream cake binge. At least you have the consolation of knowing that you are a virtuous and righteous woman, even if it isn't showing up on the scales.

Uncle Ony: It amazes me that women who in other situations show all the signs of reasonable intelligence can be so dim when it comes to that most tedious of issues: weight. First of all, scales do not show fitness or size. If you have added a few pounds of muscle, that will mask the few pounds of fat you might have lost. Secondly, being fit is far more important than losing weight: weight loss is a secondary benefit unless you are hugely gross. Thirdly, obsessing over how much you weigh is the mark of a truly sad personality. Please stop it.

I have always been fairly fit and enjoy running, cycling and swimming. However, I recently hurt my back and have had to forgo any exercise for some weeks. I have noticed that I am losing weight and wonder how this can be, as I am eating lots and lying around reading.

Daisy, Cheshire

Aunty Ag: I have no idea how lying around eating lots can be causing you to get thinner. But I think you sound like a very smug person indeed. Now please go away.

Uncle Ony: What is happening here is that you are losing the muscle that you have accumulated and this accounts for your weight loss. It will all come back when you start exercising again. However, one thought: do you really want to be so muscular that a short period without exercise can have such a drastic effect? Men prefer ladies to be wee and fairy-like rather than having an east-European-female-Olympic-shot-putter-style physique, you know! Here is your chance to get rid of all that nasty muscle and cultivate a daintier image.

I have a problem with unwelcome visitors in my garden - some rats have taken up residence in a burrow in one of my flower borders. I've got some rat poison but I feel rather upset about the fact that these poor creatures are going to die a lingering death. I have seen them running around and these particular ones are rather bright-eyed and cute. How can I reconcile my desire for a rodent-free garden with my dislike of killing them?

Esther, via e-mail

Aunty Ag: If you could politely ask these rats to leave and give them a couple of days to pack their suitcases and scurry off, that would be wonderful. Sadly, however, rats do not listen to reason. And if you have a couple of rats, you are soon going to have lots more. So pull yourself together, grit your teeth, spread that poison and don't be such a sentimental nitwit.

Uncle Ony: Killing anything is a difficult business (apart from nasty little things with lots of legs that can be swatted with a newspaper) and you are quite right to be sensitive about it. The first thing I would do to make yourself feel better is apologise verbally to the rats, explain to them that you cannot have them in your garden, and tell them you are sorry that they have to expire in agony. Once the problem is eradicated, perhaps you could plant a little shrub in their memory, and make a suitable donation to an animal charity. All this will help to dispel any lingering bad karma.

News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
News
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features playground gun massacre
News
Two giraffes pictured on Garsfontein Road, Centurion, South Africa.
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Travel
travel
Voices
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations should be regarded as an offensive act
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
News
people
News
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
News
Morrissey pictured in 2013
people
News
i100
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Environment
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
News
people
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Hydraulic Power Pack Design Engineer

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I recruit for contract mechanical design...

    SQL DBA/ C# Developer - T-SQL, C#.Net

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Working with an exciting ...

    SCO Supervisor Electrical

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client based in the Midlands is looki...

    Ecommerce Executive

    £20000 - £24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Ecommerce Executive Working with an...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices