Hungry Muscles

Working out a plan while on the move literally!

Scott K. JohnsonBy Scott Johnson

April 2008 — Moving is perhaps one of the finest forms of physical torture that exists today. I was recently reminded just how much work it is when my family and I moved into a new house. My plan was to take a whole week off from work and make numerous trips back and forth with my trusty old pickup truck. I would move as much as I could on my own, then get a moving truck and recruit help (thanks guys!) for the stuff I couldn't manage on my own.

I didn't really appreciate just how much stuff my family and I had until it came time to start packing it up and moving it. We had about four million boxes of possessions, a couple hundred tons of furniture, one pickup truck, five weekdays, two weekends, and one person - me!

Monday was not too bad. I could not get access to the new place until later in the day, so I spent my first day off work filling my truck with stuff, then staging things in a few strategic areas. It was a lot of light lifting. There was nothing too heavy, just a whole lot of stuff.

By the end of Monday night I was feeling pretty good about the sizeable chunk of stuff I had moved. My momentum was starting to pick up. While I was tired from all my efforts, I was ready to get up early and get working again. My blood sugars managed pretty well, as I had reduced my basal rates by a bit and ate periodically through the day. I was very worried about going low overnight, so I cut my meal insulin by half and had a very late dinner right before bed. I figured that I would probably wake up to a very high blood sugar, but it was worth it to avoid a low.

But at about 2:45 AM I woke up low. Stunned and scared, I ate way more than I needed to treat the low, then went back to sleep. I greeted Tuesday morning with a stable blood sugar, which amazed me. I had eaten quite a bit to treat the Monday night low. Where did it all go?

I worked much harder Tuesday and Wednesday, putting in twelve to fourteen hour days, moving furniture that I probably shouldn't have moved on my own.

By the end of Wednesday, I was totally spent. While I did not change my basal rates at all, I skipped meal boluses for those two days. With the exception of a couple really high blood sugars, and a handful of low blood sugars, I maintained acceptable blood sugars the whole time. My muscles were using up their glucose stores and refilling them as fast as I could feed them. It was amazing.

The rest of the move was easier on the muscles. There were a lot of trips back and forth, but not nearly as much heavy lifting. I did need to bolus conservatively for my meals and I also cut back my basal rate for pockets of the day. I also needed to keep eating so I had energy to keep going.

But now we're all moved in! We're still getting settled, and who knows how many years it will take us to get unpacked and officially "done," but the physical labor part of moving is behind me. Boy, am I glad about that!

The experience reinforced for me just how important exercise and physical activity is for all of us. It has a very visible impact on blood sugars and insulin needs. It was very satisfying to be able to eat and not need as much insulin to keep my blood sugars in good shape.

Visit Scott's blog.


dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: December 06, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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