I Wrote a Book! “Bright Spots & Landmines” is Coming Soon
By Adam Brown
What it’s about, how to get a free copy, and three myths I want to bust
Over the past year at diaTribe, I have been working hard on an exciting and daunting project: writing the most actionable and useful diabetes book I can think of.
Bright Spots & Landmines: The Diabetes Guide I Wish Someone Had Handed Me is now done, and we’re planning publication for May 9.
I can promise one thing about this diabetes guide: it delivers A LOT of practical, immediately useful tips and tricks related to food, mindset, exercise, and sleep. The book’s four chapters touch on:
What to eat to minimize blood sugar swings, plus my strategies for navigating breakfast, grocery shopping, and restaurants.
How to conquer diabetes stress, guilt, burnout, frustration, perfectionism, and low motivation.
How to avoid highs and lows during exercise, fit activity into a busy life, and actually enjoy exercise.
How to sleep better and optimize bedtime routines.
Along the way, I also hope readers will come to approach diabetes through a different lens:
By nature, many of us tend to focus on problems and mistakes, or what I’ve called “Diabetes Landmines” in past columns. This has some value – identifying what doesn’t work and trying to do less of it – but it can also drive a lot of negative feelings and finger-wagging advice.
This book will argue that finding “Diabetes Bright Spots” is far more important: identifying what works and finding ways to do those things more often. As I like to say, “What happens on my best days with diabetes, and how can I have more days like that? What do I eat when my blood sugar stays in range? What happens on my lowest stress days?”
This shift has been a powerful gamechanger for my diabetes, mainly because Bright Spots are easy to overlook and undervalue. Plus, Bright Spots are uplifting and actionable – it’s usually easier to do more of something, rather than less.
To that end, this book will share the 43 Diabetes Bright Spots that have positively changed my life in four categories: Food, Mindset, Exercise, and Sleep. I’ll share the strategies I use to increase them, and each chapter concludes with useful questions to help you find your own. Since Landmines do have some value, I’ll also share the 16 biggest ones I stumble onto and how I try to avoid them.
I’ve tried to make everything in this book actionable, and even if you read this column regularly, you’ll find tons of new content. Like most of my previous columns, the writing applies pretty equally to type 1 AND type 2 diabetes.
Finally, I also hope Bright Spots & Landmines will bust some common myths and ineffective diabetes advice I've received, including:
Myth 1: “You can eat whatever you want as long as you take insulin for it.”
That definitely was not true for me. In fact, it set me up nicely for ten years of extreme blood glucose values, even though I was trying hard. (You’ll get my shopping list, 30+ most common meals, and restaurant hacks in this book.)
Myth 2: “Avoid long-term complications” is the best way to motivate people with diabetes.
I think there is a far better way: focus on today benefits to in-range blood sugars (e.g., better mood, energy, and relationships). This is rarely discussed and far more empowering and motivating.
Myth 3: “Moderation, moderation, moderation.”
I do far better with clear black-and-white rules, which make decisions automatic and require less willpower. For example, “I don’t eat white foods” is easier than “I’ll eat half of that potato sitting in front of me.” I think for many people, “moderation” is a Diabetes Landmine waiting to happen.
Reflections on Adam’s Corner and Hopes for Bright Spots & Landmines
When I started writing this column in 2013, I wasn’t sure if anyone would read it. My goal was to write highly actionable articles sharing useful diabetes tips, discoveries, and experiments. Learning is one of my favorite things to do in life, and this column felt like a neat channel to share my findings. But was my experience even relevant to others? Could these articles even make a difference?
To my complete surprise, over 600,000 people have read Adam’s Corner to date, and I’ve received hundreds of emails and comments sharing gratitude and kindness. Each one brightens my day and reminds me that actionable, practical, honest diabetes tips are still desperately needed.
Writing for diaTribe has been the most gratifying project of my life, and I’m excited to expand that work in a big way with Bright Spots & Landmines. Our diaTribe.org founder Kelly Close encouraged me to write this book over a year ago, and without her support and confidence, it would not exist. I’m honored to have her foreword in the first few pages!
Head over to diaTribe.org/BrightSpots to get the book once it launches, and consider sharing this link on social media. It will help with our only goal: sharing content that helps people with diabetes dramatically improve their lives.
very best wishes,