The bug spray diet

12 Sep

I’ve lost two inches in my waist since July, and the reason is simple:

I once lived in New Mexico, a part of the country not known for its no-see-ums.  In fact, I believe I was bitten, on average, by perhaps one mosquito every year.  My oldest kiddo, Danger Boy, was about three when he was standing in the doorway of the house and watched with a kind of mild interest as a mosquito leisurely floated down to land on his arm.  Then it bit him, and he set up such a howl that I thought one of the mountain lions was trying to carry him away.

It took two years for him to get over his terror of anything that flew.  Carpenter bees would send him into sobbing hysterics.  Mud daubers elicited shrieks of terror.  There was even a brief moment of panic over a butterfly.  It was only slowly that he recovered the happy-go-lucky attitude of his toddlerhood when it came to things that buzzed as they flew.

We live in Maryland now, and, more specifically, we live near a swamp in Maryland.  Oh, some call it a river, but I am not fooled.  It is a swamp, plain and simple, and though it flows sluggishly between its banks most of the year, even at the best of times, there are many feet of stagnant water and mud near the banks.

Needless to say, we have mosquitoes.  We have the kind of mosquitoes that make people chain down small dogs so that they will not be kidnapped by swarms of bloodsuckers.  I have worked out a heirarchy of deliciousness when it comes to my family and that of our nearest neighbors, based upon who gets bitten when options are available.  I am thankful–if somewhat guiltily–that I seem to be the least delicious of all, but that doesn’t save me when I’m alone or when I’ve dutifully sprayed the kids (while quashing doubts about all the pesticides making them grow extra toes) and am the sole unexposed person.  So just about every day, unless it’s actively raining or windy, I have to put on bug spray, too.  Not the Family Care stuff, the perfumed imitation of real mosquito repellent.  At this time of the year, not even the Advanced stuff works–it’s just a tease.  No, it’s Deep Woods, or the best you can hope for is just delaying them down a bit.  Sort of like Death by a Thousand Bites in slow motion.

So I spray myself all over with Deep Woods (Off or Cutter, not that I care), and then until I take a shower, I don’t eat.  Everything around me seems to smell like the spray, which makes me queasy.  Worse, if I eat, everything I eat tastes like the spray.  Which makes my stomach even queasier.

So, until I get a shower, I don’t eat.  Which means that I’m losing the mom-chub that I’ve picked up since last November.  Which wouldn’t be a bad thing…except that being hungry and slightly queasy all the time is not my preferred method of weight loss.

But given the crazy things  many people try, I can imagine there might be a market for it.  I can see it now:  The Bug Spray Diet.  The Mosquito Repellent Cleanse.

Back off the idea, Hollywood.  I was here first.


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