Please do not talk about a child’s weight in front of them, or tell them they need to go on a diet. 

Talking about weight in front of children is associated with mental and physical health risks, and both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommend against all weight talk around children.

How to start!
  • Make some coffee/ tea / snack.
  • Instead of spending hours procrastinating on your phone, watch a motivational video while you eat.
  • Tidy your study space, get rid of dishes, mugs and anything that isn´t study related. Leave your glass of water.
  • Go wash your face with cold water.
  • Check time.
  • Turn off your phone and computer. If your study material is there, turn the wifi off.
  • Study.
  • Take a short break. (Go to the toilet, refill your glass, stretch, open a window, listen to music, talk to someone, call your mom, etc)
  • Follow this sequence four times.
  • Take a long break. (Get another snack, watch a motivational video, go on a short walk, read a book, do some yoga, take a shower, go outside, doodle, post something on tumblr, take a nap or whatever you´d like to do. DO NOT WATCH A TV SHOW YOU ARE NOT GOING TO STOP AND YOU KNOW IT PUNK. Also, make it so that your break doesn´t last longer that 25 minutes, don´t waste precious time)
  • Go back, keep studying.

RE-PROGRAMMING YOUR MINDSET FOR SUCCESS

I feel like I have to share my pathway towards success with you because I spent all my life considering success as the very end of the journey when in reality you can have it all along the way. And I think that understanding this is fundamental, not only for your studies but also for your everyday life.

I’ll start by showing you a little example. During my long stay in Cartagena I had the occasion to do a few salsa dance lessons with some of my friends (yeah cliché I know) and as I was listening to the salsa teacher I kept telling myself that I was too rigid and not coordinated at all and that I’d look terrible dancing.

When we had to practice the moves I couldn’t keep up with the rhythm and honestly, I was a mess. The teacher even came to me to tell me that I was thinking too much about the moves!!

In that very moment, I thought: “ok Margot, now think you’re a latina goddess, you’re sexy and you’re a born-to-be a dancer”. As soon as I started telling this to myself, my moves completely improved. They got so much better that I was the only one in the group who was able to perform all the moves correctly on the first try.

What I want to tell you with this story is : you won’t go anywhere as long as you keep a negative mindset. The second you switch your mindset and you turn it into something positive, a little miracle happen. Just as me being able to perform good dance moves (and trust me that this one is really a true miracle :)

Now, I know it’s easy to say but I really want you to understand this because it’ll change your life like it changed mine : whatever you think about, you become.

The minute you start filling your brain with useless thoughts like “I’m not enough of this”, “I wish I had this”, “I wish I looked like that”, “I’m too fat to wear that”, “I have no self-control”, “I’m bad at maths”, etc. well guess what : you’ll still be bad at maths, you’ll stay sad and in months from now you’ll be stuck in the same place.

Here are some bits of advice about what you should be doing instead. Notice that this post is inspired by Gabrielle Bernstein’s book “The Universe has your Back” and also by other inspiring video’s I watched in the past few months :) 

  • Focus on your goal and imagine how you’re gonna achieve it, how you’re gonna feel and how proud you will be. Make it as clear as possible. Write it down in your journal if you want. Visualize every single detail. If your goal isn’t clear, it’s ok! You can still think about how you can improve your life or how you can work on just loving yourself more. And don’t be afraid to think big.
  • Practice positive affirmations. This one will be hard in the beginning because we all are used to focus on the things we don’t have, or the habits we want to get rid of, but we never pay attention to what we already have or why we really want success. Instead of thinking “I want to stop biting my nails so I won’t be ashamed of them” think “I’ll be so proud of myself if I stop biting my nails and I’ll feel more confident!”. Trust me, it makes ALL the difference.
  • Practice gratitude. You have no idea about the positive impact it has. If you struggle with this, try to make a list of at least 5 things you are grateful for every night before going to bed. Write it in a journal or just think about it for a moment. There’s no “wrong” way to practice gratitude. You can be grateful for the pizza you had today, or your cat. It just has to be positive.
  • Get some inspiration. Read a new book or look for some videos that inspire you. Get closer to people you admire. Inspiration is so important because it allows you to get a better view of what you want to become. I really started changing my mindset the first time I read “You Are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. It has been so eye-opening to me that I started practicing more and more positive actions ! I also found TED Talks to be really helpful for me!! 
  • Judge less. I know, we’re all humans. We all judge and it’s totally normal to do so. However, we can modify our judgment towards a lot of situations : whenever you notice yourself judging something or someone, take a step back and think why you are doing so, it’ll help you to see clearer and you’ll let more space for love. You don’t know what’s behind the people you’re judging and it doesn’t help you to reach your goal. Use this energy to work on yourself instead.
  • Stop comparing yourself. Don’t stop because you think you’ll never be enough. You don’t know what the others are going through, you don’t even know what they are thinking. I remember in my first med school year that I was constantly focusing on what the others were doing and comparing it to what I was working on instead. I spent so much energy doing so instead of studying that it made me fail my exams. And you know what the funniest part is? That the people I valued better than me failed their exams too. This definitely changed my vision! The next year I only focused on myself and on my own study methods and I passed all my exams :) 
  • Start where you are and celebrate small victories : you’ve been feeling like crap and all you did was taking a shower? It’s fine. You took care of yourself. Be happy about it. Be grateful to be able to do so. Don’t wait for the right moment to start something because the truth is that there’s no right moment and that you’ll never really be ready. Success is more about the journey than the destination. Always remember that.
  • Stay true to yourself. Don’t seek perfection but start loving every part of yourself instead. Don’t apologize for being authentic because it will allow you to understand what truly matters to you in every situation. Being your own self will also help you focus on your goal and not letting distractions around. You’ll gain confidence as you’ll know what works best for you and you’ll be able to let go of negative things in your life.
  • Also, don’t apologize for your success and your abundance. You are worth it. You’ve always been. 

I hope these tips will help you to reach your goals! You deserve to be happy and successful!

Margot X

STUDYGRAM

How to read a scientific article

Hey y’all! This post is aimed at people who are making the transition from textbook-based science classes to article-based science classes. Scientific journal articles are dense compared to textbooks and aren’t written with the intent to teach basic concepts but rather with the intent to expand scientific knowledge. It can often be very confusing to figure out what is going on. Here’s how I was taught to read them 10+ years ago and how I still approach them today. 

(I) After reading the title, start for real with the Results section. 

Why would you do this when you know the abstract will give you a basic overview of the study and the introduction will set the context? Because you want to be an active reader. You want to figure out what happened in this study in a way that makes sense to you rather than be able to parrot what the author’s say happened. This is the major difference between reading a textbook (where you need to regurgitate the information later) and reading an article (where you need to be able to intelligently discuss the content either in class or in writing). 

Look at the tables and figures first. Can you tell what the independent variables were? What the dependent variables are? What might the relationship between them be? What trends or patterns do you see? Depending on your style, it may be a good idea to mark up your document with this information or jot some notes down somewhere else. 

Now read the text part of the results. What parts of the figures are the authors choosing to highlight in the text? Are there any results buried in the text that you can’t connect to part of a figure?   

Now pause and think. What is the most important result of the study? Highlight where this appears in the text and figures. Remember that important doesn’t necessarily mean statistically significant! A good p-value doesn’t signify real-world meaning; you need to make that connection yourself. Take a moment in this step to notice what results still don’t make sense to you– no need to panic or write questions down yet because you haven’t read the rest of the paper. 

(II) Get the gist of the Methods. 

Chances are your professor did not assign you this reading with the intent to make you replicate the study. You don’t have to understand every sentence (or even most sentences!) of the methods unless you’re an advanced graduate student. You do have to be able to explain in layman’s terms what the researchers did. 

Particularly important questions to answer that can be found in the text include: What were the independent variables? What were the dependent variables? What variables were controlled for, either statistically or through researcher manipulation? What statistical methods were used to look for an association?  In health research, we use the acronym PECOT to deconstruct method’s sections.  

  • P = population– who was being studied? 
  • E = exposure– what variable were the researchers trying to determine the impact of? This might be an intervention (ie., a smoking cessation video) or something outside researchers’ control (ie., at least 5 years of daily smoking). 
  • C = comparison– who is the population of interest going to be compared to? This may be a formal control group (ie., smokers who were shown a video on handwashing) or something outside researchers’ control (ie., former smokers of a similar demographic background who haven’t had a cigarette in 5 years). 
  • O = outcome– what were the researchers looking for? This is also known as the independent variable. 
  • T = time– how long were participants/subjects tracked and when were measurements taken? 

(III) Read the Introduction. 

Now that you have a very good idea about the design and results of the study, you’ll be better able to understand the introduction of the study. The basic goal of an introduction in any scientific paper is to explain why the study happened. The background may give you some helpful context, or it may be redundant at this point. I typically don’t spend much time on the introduction except for the end where the study purpose/research question and hypotheses are usually written. Mark these in the text! You should already have a good idea of the study’s purpose from the methods and results. Here’s some questions you should answer internally or in your notes at this point: 

  1. Did the methods align with the purpose? 
  2. Did the results support the hypothesis? 
  3. What are the scientific implications of these results? 

(IV) Read whatever is at the end of the article: Discussion, Conclusion, Reflection, Limitations, Research Implications etc. 

It is very important that you save these sections for last because these sections are where researchers tell you what to think of the results. You need to be prepared to critically engage with their interpretation of the results by already having your own. That’s what the three questions above are about! Of course, the discussion was probably written by multiple advanced scientists and you are but a lowly student. That doesn’t mean you should accept their conclusions without seeing their logic. As you read the discussion, think about these questions: 

  1. Do the researchers think the results support the hypothesis? 
  2. How are the researchers interpreting the primary results? [Bonus: what other interpretations are there, and are they mentioned?]
  3. What do the researchers think the scientific implications of these results are?
  4. What limitations do the researchers acknowledge, and how could those limitations be impacting the results?

(V) Synthesize it. 

Try to boil down everything in the paper to just a few sentences that an 8th grader could understand. Whether you think through it internally or write it down is up to you. I usually print out my readings and write my synthesis on the blank back page using the following sentences starters: 

  • The researchers wanted to know whether… 
  • They found that… 
  • This means that… 

Taking the time to write the synthesis and any lingering questions you have can be really helpful if, like me, you do reading far in advance of class and need a quick refresher to glance at before class starts. It can also be helpful for paper writing or exam studying later. Consider revising your synthesis after you participate in the class discussion or hear your professor’s take on the article in lecture. Don’t rely on the abstract– that’s someone else’s synthesis, not yours.

— 

I hope this was helpful!! Don’t feel bad if this process is ridiculously time consuming. I have spent probably 3-4 hours on a 5-page study before. The goal of science writing is to be as concise as possible, which makes reading short articles more difficult than longer ones. I am a graduate student at a top American university, and I typically read 9-12 articles per week this deeply. If a professor assigns more than 4 research study articles per week for a regular course, make sure they explain what students are supposed to be getting out of each article so you can target your reading better. Chances are, you can skip some sections and focus on coming to class with clarifying questions rather than a firm understanding.

Happy reading!! 

@phd-one-day

3

Marathon! Change your life!

How often do you say to yourself, “I’ll Start on Monday!“and still put off for later? Are you ready to challenge yourself and turn your life upside down, starting with small steps? Are you ready to be the best version of yourself? Ready to learn to go to your goal, to go to the end? Then participate! I suggest we start on Monday! //symbolic// Only this time, no excuses!

let’s Call it ‘Change your life’. Goal: Get a bunch of good habits.

What do you need for this? You need to print that wonderful sign in the photos, or draw yourself. It needs to be done today, because tomorrow we start. Next, you need to determine what habits you want to put in your life rhythm. Put them in the tracker. Thank u @emmastudies for this Monthly Habit Tracker!🍉 And you need motivation and persistence!

How do you keep motivated?

I thought about that too. We will motivate each other! Every day you can summarize on your blog using the hashtag #marathonwithstudypeachs . So all participants will be easier to find each other’s posts, and thus receive a portion of motivation and boldly go to the end!

And now let’s talk about those habits that should be in each tracker.

🌟 Wake up at 7:00 am!

🌟 Drink 2 glasses of water in the morning and drink plenty of water during the day.

🌟 Morning yoga. Exercises can be found online or replaced with normal charging.

🌟Read 30-35 pages of the book every day.Choose the book you got today)

🌟 Move 20 minutes per day. you can run, walk with friends, jump, swim, but not sit!

🌟 Hug at least one person a day!this is also important. Hugs will cheer you up)

🌟 Plan your day from the evening! Every night you will make a plan for the next day. This habit will help you become more organized.

🌟 Do not use the device during operation! You’d be surprised how much time you’ll have and how much productivity you’ll have.

🌟Take 15 minutes to develop yourself! you can watch thematic videos on YouTube or read self-development books, find useful sites and learn something new.

🌟 Read 1 random Wikipedia article every day!as a result, you will fit 31 articles in your head. And, if it becomes a habit, you will get knowledge from different areas and further, which will make you a versatile person.

🌟 Spend 30-40 minutes in a foreign language! have you been wanting to learn English or German, Chinese or Italian for A long time? Start now! Get closer to the dream every day.

🌟 Go to bed at 11:00 pm!you need 8 hours for a good rest.

Well, are you in? Will you challenge yourself?! I hope so.

make a reblog to have more participants! Together we can!