REAL BODIES: AUNTY AG UNCLE ONY

Two heads are better than one. Aunty Ag and Uncle Ony tell you how to cope with those difficult Budget questions and debate whether or not it's insulting to be compared to Monica Lewinsky
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The other day someone said that I look like Monica Lewinsky. Should I be

insulted or pleased?

Susan, Bath

Auntie Ag: It depends whether or not you think she is pretty. Personally I can think of dozens of comparisons I would find a lot less flattering.

Uncle Ony: Comparisons are odious, as someone once said. Every single person on this planet is a bright and sparkling individual jewel, as unique as the stars in the sky and the leaves on the boughs. (Or the leaves that will be on the boughs in a few weeks' time when the weather picks up a bit.) Why should you care if you resemble Ms Lewinsky or not, or what that means? Other people's opinions can cause so much hurt and distress and uncertainty: why pay them any attention at all? Shrug them off, and revel in your own one-off-ness! Revel, revel, revel! It will do wonders for your self-esteem. (Actually, Monica Lewinsky is quite plump. If you do look like her you should consider eating less and exercising more. And your hairdo is possibly a bit too bouffant. But your teeth are probably admirable, so well done on the dental front!)

I have been given a useful diet tip by one of my friends: that Twiglets are a lower-fat snack than crisps. I have switched my daily lunch snack- treat from crisps to Twiglets and have to say they are delicious, but a fortnight later I have not lost any weight. How can this be?

Jane, via e-mail

Auntie Ag: I don't wish to blind you with science and maths, but the number of calories you save by switching from crisps to Twiglets, assuming a consumption of a pack a day, is around 60. There are around 3,600 calories in one pound of fat. So to drop a pound of fat, by Twiglet-crisp substitution alone, will take about two months. That is assuming you don't make up those 60 calories by eating something else in the meantime.

Uncle Ony: To really get to grips with your avoirdupois, you should really drop your lunch "snack-treat" altogether. Don't simply skirmish with the calories: battle them properly! Nibble on lumps of raw carrot, or perhaps broccoli florets or celery - but without the dressing. The taste sensation may not be quite the same, but one must suffer to be beautiful!

I am an intelligent woman (I think) but I am finding it very difficult to get to grips with the full implications of the latest Budget. This makes my husband scoff at me, which is very annoying. How can I stop him doing this?

Anita, Wrexham

Auntie Ag: Why would you want to get to grips with the full implications of the latest Budget, or indeed any Budget? Nobody else does, except accountants and politicians (and, evidently, your husband). Most people just skim through booze, fags, petrol and mortgages and hope for the best on the rest. You are perfectly normal, so please don't worry.

Uncle Ony: I'm sure your husband doesn't mean to hurt your feelings. After all, in these modern times, most of you ladies have your very own jobs and contribute to the household finances - it's not as if all you have to cope with these days is spending the housekeeping money! Financial awareness is very important. I think that you should set aside an evening to sit down with your husband, go through the whole package and let him explain it all in detail. I'm sure he will be happy to enlighten you.

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