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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
May 1

Follow us on Twitter!

Posted By iamincontrol | May 1, 2014

Want to find out when IAMincontrol has a new post?  Follow us on Twitter @IAMincontrolIA for tweets about our posts and events for teens.  Retweet to share your favorite posts with your friends!
Apr 24

Why Detoxing and Cleanses Don’t Actually Work

Posted By iamincontrol | April 24, 2018

Many diet plans promise to rid your body of toxins and help you lose weight. But do they really work? One important thing to remember is that your body naturally cleanses itself. Your liver’s job is to help get any toxins out of your body. It isn’t necessary to buy specific products to detox it.

  • Juice cleanses often don’t provide the body with enough calories. The increased energy from doing a juice cleanse is likely the body’s response to being hungry and energizing you to find more food.
  • Activated charcoal is traditionally used to rid your body of poison, usually in an emergency setting. It won’t remove toxins from your blood because it can only affect your gastrointestinal system.

Since your body is already detoxifying itself, products only use the word “detox” as a way to get people interested in them. If you’re still worried about detoxifying your body, the best thing that you can do is eat a balanced diet that supports the work your body is already doing. Incorporating more foods with nutrients that support your immune system and liver is a much more effective (and more affordable way) to keep your body healthy.

For more information on detox diets and why they aren’t healthy, check out this link:

Apr 19

Think or Dare

Posted By iamincontrol | April 19, 2018

Do you enjoy watching YouTube challenges? You know, the ones where people eat ghost peppers or see how long they can rub an eraser on their skin? Have you ever tried any? While these videos can be entertaining to watch and perhaps try with your friends, they are not all created equal. Some are harmless fun while others are dangerous and can have lifelong effects. The most important thing to do before trying any challenge is to think it through. What ways can this go wrong?

There are plenty of challenges that are both fun AND safe. Here are some examples:

  1. Mannequin Challenge
  2. Whisper Challenge
  3. Try Not to Laugh Challenge
  4. Disney Challenge
  5. Speed Drawing Challenge
  6. No Thumbs Challenge
  7. Pancake Art Challenge
  8. What’s That Smell Challenge
Apr 17

Logan Paul & Mental Health Awareness and Stigma

Posted By iamincontrol | April 17, 2018

A few months ago social media and YouTube video blogger (vlogger), Logan Paul was under fire. He was videotaping and commenting on a person who took their own life as he walked through Suicide Forest in Japan. Logan Paul’s insensitive reaction to suicide throughout the video has led to larger discussions about mental health and suicide awareness.

Talking about mental illness and suicide can be hard and awkward. For example, you may be afraid of saying the wrong things or upsetting someone. So, how do you handle talking about mental health/suicide?

  • Take things serious – if someone is having thoughts of suicide, never assume that they are seeking attention.
  • Don’t make jokes – someone’s health is serious, whether it is mental or physical. Treat people with respect.
  • Be a friend – ask how they are doing and try to be there for them. Doing your best is all that can be asked.
  • Don’t fear someone – people with mental health disorders already face stigma or shame for their issues. Don’t treat them any differently because of their disorder.
  • Tell an adult or important person – don’t try to handle everything on your own. Always tell a trusted adult who can help step in.

Learn from other’s mistakes. For tips on how to have conversations about mental health, go to

Apr 12

How Making Art Can Help Your Health

Posted By iamincontrol | April 12, 2018

Many people think of exercise as a way to relieve stress, but many people overlook that art can be a great stress reliever, too. Read below for some ways that making art can help you relax and promote good mental health.

  •  Art projects, such as painting, require a lot of focus. This focus helps you to stay present and in the moment instead of worrying about whatever is stressing you out. Working on an art project can give you the same mental benefits and give you something physical to do.
  • Art can be a healthy way to express and process emotions. Drawing, painting, or writing are ways to vent negative emotions or focus on things in life that you love. Creating something also gives you a sense of accomplishment that can be very positive.
  • Even if you’re not a great artist, you can still get the same benefits from making art. If you aren’t sure what to make, try getting detailed coloring books or pages and coloring them in. This will make you focus on what you’re doing like drawing or painting would.

For more information about the benefits of making art, check out this video:

Apr 10

Is Diet or Regular Soda Better For Your Health?

Posted By iamincontrol | April 10, 2018

Is diet or regular soda better for your health? This is a question that we still don’t seem to have an answer for. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners that taste sweet, but do not have any calories. Is tricking our bodies with these “fake sugars” bad for our health? Over the years scientists have made some gains on this question. Here are the latest findings:

  • Drinking diet soda is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. One problem is that we cannot be completely sure which causes which. For instance, is diet soda really responsible for weight gain, or are overweight people more likely to drink diet soda? Although there are a lot of mixed results, the general agreement among scientists is that drinking artificially sweetened soda is definitely not beneficial.

Therefore, diet soda does not appear to be healthier than regular soda. Mixing diet and regular soda does not appear to be healthy either. It will be some time yet before we know the full truth of the soda dilemma, so limiting your soda consumption is your best bet. But of course, you probably don’t need us to tell you that!

For more information on down side of diet soda, check out this link:

Apr 5

How to Ditch the Tanning Bed and Still Look Glowing for Prom

Posted By iamincontrol | April 5, 2018

Prom is coming up and we all want to look our best. We all know that tanning can lead to premature aging and skin cancer, but can tanning just this once really be all that bad? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, just one tanning bed session increases your risk for melanoma, a type of skin cancer, by a whopping 20%! Still want a tanned look for prom? Here are some alternative ways to get that sun-kissed look:

  1. Sunless tanning lotion. Today’s lotions aren’t your mom’s lotions. These lotions have improved a lot over the years in smell, tint, and evenness. Follow the instructions to the T to avoid orange palms and streaks.
  2. Tanning towelettes. Towelettes work similarly to sunless tanning lotions but are easier to apply. You will get less bang for your buck, however.
  3. Spray/airbrush tan. Getting a professional spray tan is the best way to assure your tan is even. It also is more convenient since it only requires one application. For tips on how to get the most out of your spray tan, visit this link.
  4. All naturel. Of course, leaving your skin the way it is -is another option that is beautiful. To be fair, fair skin is actually becoming more popular on the red carpet. Stars such as Keira Knightly, Emma Stone, and Taylor Swift are often seen rocking their natural skin tone. Pale skin is classy and elegant. Work it!
Apr 3

How Iowa City Schools Revolutionized Bully Reporting

Posted By iamincontrol | April 3, 2018

Have you ever witnessed someone being bullied, but didn’t feel comfortable taking action? Whether you were scared the bully might hurt you for standing up or start bullying you for tattling, we all have been there. Fortunately for students in the Iowa City School District, there is a new solution. Students can now text @Bullying or @SafeSchools to a certain phone number. It directs them to a reporting form that they can submit anonymously. The school counselor receives the digital form without a name on the report. The counselor and/or principal then take action to address the situation. How easy is that?\

Want this in your school? Talk to your teachers and show them this video:

Mar 29

Coping with an Alcoholic Parent

Posted By iamincontrol | March 29, 2018

When a parent is abusing alcohol, home can feel very chaotic and sometimes scary.

It might be hard to tell what kind of mood your parent will be in, or they might suddenly snap and get really angry. Learning how to deal with this kind of instability is hard, but there are some things you can keep in mind that will help you cope.

  1. It’s not your fault

It is important to know that your parent’s alcoholism is a mental health disorder, and it has nothing to do with you. You didn’t do anything to cause it. It might feel like it is your fault, and some parents even try to blame it on their children. But remember that this isn’t your fault and that your parent has a mental health problem that they can’t control.

  1. It’s not your job to fix them

It can be easy to feel like you should try to help your parent stop drinking. It makes sense because you care about them and want things at home to be better. But, it’s not your responsibility to fix your parent. That’s something that only a person with training and experience can help with. Your only job is to do the best that you can, even when things get rough.

  1. Take care of yourself first

When things get out of control, it is really important to take yourself out of the craziness. The best thing to do is remove yourself and go do something that makes you feel happy. Maybe that means watching TV, talking to your friends, or reading a book. No matter what happens, never feel guilty for putting yourself first and making sure that you feel okay.

Another thing you can do is check out this website about an organization called Alateen, which is a support group for teens who are affected by another person’s alcoholism. Even if they don’t have group meetings near you, they have some online resources to check out.

Mar 27

Binge-watching TV: When is it a problem?

Posted By iamincontrol | March 27, 2018

TV shows are a big part of pop culture. They can be easy things to bond over when you meet new people, they can be exciting, and you will understand jokes or references people make if you have seen different shows.

However, TV can also be addictive. Especially with services like Netflix and Hulu (not to mention illegal streaming or downloading), watching TV for hours on end is easier than ever. On Netflix, you don’t have to sit through commercials or tune-in at a specific time and channel. It can be easy to let the episodes keep playing and forget about real-world responsibilities.

There always comes a time when we have to ask ourselves if binge-watching is a real problem for us. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about your TV consumption:

-Do you feel that once you start watching, it’s hard to stop?

-Do you put off homework or spending time with friends and family to watch TV?

-Do you feel tired or achy, and keep watching anyway?

-When you’re not watching TV, do you spend too much time thinking about it?

-Do you usually use TV as a way to not think about things that are upsetting you?

These are some things that might be red-flags when it comes to your TV time. It can be easy to let TV take up more room in your life than it needs. For example, if you usually turn on a show when you’re sad, it might mean that you are avoiding something important. Talking to a friend that you trust about what’s going on will make you feel better in the long run than any TV show out there.

Even though it doesn’t seem as fun, it’s important to take care of things in your life so that you don’t fall behind. Getting some homework or chores done will make you feel more confident than that next episode. You can also try getting a task done and then rewarding yourself with an episode, so that you get the best of both worlds.


Can’t think of what to do if you’re not binge-watching? Here’s a list of ideas to get your started:

Mar 22

What to Expect During a Wellness Visit

Posted By iamincontrol | March 22, 2018

When was the last time you went to the doctor? Perhaps you were sick or needed a physical to participate in sports. Have you ever gone for a wellness visit? Wellness visits are visits to the doctor to check on your overall physical and mental health. Since prevention is better than trying to reverse a health problem, they are really important! It is also a chance to get some advice from your doctor on how to become healthier. Here’s what to expect during a wellness visit:

  • Physical examination. A physical examination includes things like measuring your height, weight and blood pressure. It also involves listening to your heart and lungs; looking in your ears, nose, and throat; feeling your belly; testing your strength and flexibility; and checking your eyesight.
  • Update on any vaccines if needed. Some vaccines require booster shots in order for them to continue working. Optional vaccines such as the HPV vaccine may also be offered and discussed.
  • A conversation about your lifestyle, health habits, and mental health. Your doctor will likely ask you a series of questions about your diet, physical activity, mental health, sexual activity, alcohol consumption, and smoking habits, and drug use. Many of these are quite personal, so your doctor may ask your parent/guardian to leave the room. If s/he does not do this and you do not feel you can be honest with your parent/guardian there, you may ask to speak with the doctor privately. If you are not sure why these questions are important, check out this Q&A.
  • Medical advice. After completing all of the exams your doctor will let you know how your health is, if s/he found any problems, and what you can do to improve. Doctors are experts in their fields and provide better advice than what you will find elsewhere!
  • By law, your doctor cannot share your medical information or anything discussed during your appointment with anyone else. Your doctor only needs to inform your parent/guardian if there is a risk that you are/will get hurt or that someone else may get hurt. To be safe, you can ask your doctor to keep your conversation private. The Q&A mentioned earlier can help answer some of your questions about privacy.