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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!
Jul 30

Laverne Cox, from “Orange is the New Black,” Speaks about growing up transgender

Posted By iamincontrol | July 30, 2015

Last month, the new season of “Orange is the New Black” season three was released. And I just love that show. The twists and turnsshutterstock_201381467 in the plot keep me on the edge of my seat. One of my favorite characters  in the show is Sophia Burset. In real life, Sophia is Laverne Coz who identifies as a person who is transgender. She has recently spoken out about what it was like to grow up in a small town as a person who is transgender.

Laverne, like many of you, grew up in a rural part of America. She talks about this in the video above. Laverne speaks about how she contemplated suicide and felt alone while growing up. In the video above, she talks about her experience growing up transgender. Cox talks about bullying incidence, shame she felt that was fired by her mother, and joys she felt when she found an outlet of dance. She speaks about how she didn’t feel safe as a child; because people were telling her that she was wrong in the way she acted.

Unfortunately, this feeling of isolation and fear is ever so true in Iowa. But IAMinControl is here to tell you that there are people who want to hear your story and want to support you. Here is a list of resources in Iowa if you are struggling with your identity or sexuality:

Your story is important and it needs to be heard.

Jul 28

Lessons From Demi Lavato

Posted By iamincontrol | July 28, 2015

Many people look up to celebrities as though they have the life every one desires. Little do people know this “glamorous” life may not be soshutterstock_156241253 perfect. A lot of people fight inner battles of depression and anxiety.

Demi Lavato is an example of this type of struggle. Demi Lovato was put in front of the public camera from a young age starring in the popular children’s television show, Barney. From then on she has climbed many ladders in joining Disney Channel movies and television show, Sonny with a Chance. Many young teens and children look up to her as a role model. On set, she displays herself as someone who is fun and light hearted, but the audience did not see what was happening in Demi’s mind.

Demi fought with depression, bulimia, anorexia, and cutting. She checked herself into a rehab facility called Timberline Knolls. This treatment helps lead teens and adults through recovery of addiction and mental illness. Demi explained that she had these feelings since she was 11 years old and hid them from the people around her.

I believe many people can learn from Demi’s experience. When we look at others, there is more to that person than meets the eye. Deep down inside, they may be struggling with depression and anxiety too.  We all have our own battles.

But Demi’s story tells us, that it is okay to share these and know you are not alone. Depression, eating disorders, and more can happen to anyone, and the most important first step is to reach out for help.

Demi has been through a lot, but has changed this into a learning experience for her fans that are still with her today. She shares how she recovered and that everyone has a purpose here on this world. Demi displays these great words through her songs in the album, “Unbroken”.

A quote from Demi Lovato that touched many hearts is, “Your imperfections make you beautiful and they make you who you are so just be who you are, love yourself for who you are and just keep going”.

There is no real “glamorous” life. We are all human beings, living in the same world, and fighting different battles. With the help and resources around us, we sometime just have to reach out for help.

Jul 23

How You Are Going to Stand Out In College

Posted By iamincontrol | July 23, 2015

Is college on your mind? Are you ready to start fresh, but are secretly really scared?  Don’t worry college isn’t as scary as you may have heard.  As a first year, going into a huge university at the age of 18, I had no idea what to expect.   When coming to college, making myself stand out was a lot more work than I anticipated.  I didn’t even knshutterstock_132231635ow where to begin.  While living in the dorms I tried to stay involved with the activities that were planned, but I was starting to find out that the girls on my floor were not the type of friends I wanted.  We had different interests and I feel we were on different levels of maturity.  I started to grow apart from them and my roommate when I turned to other campus resources.  I joined a club that was based off of my major.  This is where I feel things started to click.  I connected to people on a different level; I mean, we all wanted to be the same thing “when we grew up”.   Then, I started to volunteer with the group.  I really made connections then.  I wasn’t scared to ask questions.  So when it comes time for you to move away from home and into that dorm don’t freak out.  Don’t over analyze the situation and just let life unfold before you. And before you know it, it will be gone in a blink of an eye.

Jul 21

Family Moving Soon? Here’s What I Learned- GET INVOLVED

Posted By iamincontrol | July 21, 2015

When I was a junior year in high school I thought my life was over the minute I found out we were moving. And not just across town, but over 1,000 miles from Montana toshutterstock_146872763 Iowa. I was very involved in my school. I did varsity cheerleading, volleyball, dance team, National Honor Society, and a variety of different activities. I told my parents time and time again that I flat out refused to move. They couldn’t make me and I wouldn’t go. I even went as far as to ask my parents for me to be emancipated, so I could stay in Montana where my life was. I had friends in Montana, and there was no guarantee that anyone would like me in such a different setting. Things got worse, I thought I could at least get involved by being a cheerleader, but it turned out that to cheer in Iowa, you have to try out in the spring. And by the time my family had finalized the move, it was far past spring. My mom got in touch with the Cheer coach of my new school. But even then, I was very reluctant to even try, because I stubbornly thought senior year was going to be terrible. The cheer coach was very welcoming once we moved and let me have a late tryout to join the team. Cheerleading is what saved my senior year. Through cheerleading, I met great women that I still talk to every day. My new friends quickly became my best friends and we did everything together. My siblings didn’t get involved in school, and two years later still complains about not having friends. To me, this just shows the importance of getting involved at a new school. Even though it is uncomfortable at first, it’s totally worth the rewards of new friendships in the end. The advice I would give to anyone in this situation is be open to all the great possibilities that can come from this temporary challenge.

Jul 16

Feeling Down? Maybe It’s Time to Talk To Someone

Posted By iamincontrol | July 16, 2015

I seemed to have it all growing up, as some would say. I was on homecoming court my freshman year in high school, was surrounded by amazing friends anshutterstock_125065508d family, and always followed the rules. Not many people really knew what I was really going through– depression and anxiety. I first started to notice that something was not right the last few months of my sophomore year. I would rather stay home, in my bed, than go hangout with my friends on the weekend. Little did I know, things were going to get worse. Junior year came around and I was excited to be an upper classman. At the time, I was in a relationship. I was so happy to have a boyfriend, yet at the same time I was so sad for no reason. My boyfriend would always ask me what was wrong but I just couldn’t put how I felt into words. I felt as if I was in a dark hole and no one could get me out of it. I would come home from school and get up to my room and just cry for no reason. Why is this happening to me? What is going to make me feel better? Two years had passed and now I attend college. My first semester as a college student was very tough. I was, once again, in a dark hole and felt like no one else knew what I was going through. I am here to tell you that you CAN beat this. I get by with the love and support of my amazing parents and also my sorority sisters. Speak up and tell someone when you are feeling sad or down. I can almost guarantee you that they have been in your shoes before. Talking to a guidance counselor is a great idea and they can help link you to services. Since I have been at college I have found a natural way to reduce my depression and anxiety which is… exercise. Not only is your stress level going to reduce you are also benefiting your body. My last word of advice is, go to the doctor if needed. A professional is there to help you in any way possible. Better things are yet to come and keep your head up.

Here are some great websites/recourses about depression and how to get help:

Jul 14

5 Ways to Stay Cool During Your Summer Workouts

Posted By iamincontrol | July 14, 2015

It’s July and it’s nice out, but when it’s this hot, it can be hard to stay motivated to workout. All I want to do is sit on the couch and let the fan blow on me. But here are five easy wshutterstock_112330748ays to stay cool during your summer workouts:

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate: Keep your fluid balance by drinking lots of water during, before, and after workouts
  2. Cooler is Better: Exercise during the cooler part of the day
  3. Dress 4 Success: Wear breathable, light-colored clothing this will help you stay cool
  4. Two’s a Company: Workout in groups for motivation and safety
  5. Get Used to the Heat: Our bodies need to get used to the heat, so make sure to do small bits of exercise until we are able to do more. So don’t go run a bunch outside until your body is acclimated.

Use these steps to staying cool while you exercise in this heat.

Jul 9

Things You Should Say to Someone With an Eating Disorder

Posted By iamincontrol | July 9, 2015

Last month we talked about the signs of an Eating Disorder but what should you say to someone with an eating disorder?  If you are seeing these sishutterstock_74449939gns, or other eating patterns that are making you worried about a friend, it might be time to have a conversation about it.   Here are 4 things to keep in mind when having this conversation:

  1. Be a friend. The best thing you can do for someone you are worried about is to decide to listen, respect, and care for them during the conversation before you have the conversation.  Conversations that point out something someone is struggling with can be very hard and it may take a lot of self-control to not have the conversation turn into a fight.  Deciding beforehand that you are not going to argue or force your friend to admit to having a problem, but are going to have a conversation that shows that you are a caring friend, can go a long, long way.
  2. Be deliberate. This means thinking about when and where you want to have a conversation.  More likely, you will want to be one-on-one and in a place that is comfortable for you both.  Maybe go on a walk one day after school just the two of you.
  3. Be direct.  It is okay to come right out and say you are worried about your friend.  You can tell him or her what you have noticed, changes in their eating or behavior and how that makes you feel.  Try using “I statements” to avoid sounding that you are blaming your friend.  This would sound something like, “I am worried about you” (instead of “You are worrying me”) or “I am noticing that you are not eating at lunch any more, and it makes me feel afraid” (instead of “you aren’t eating any more”).  These phrases sound very similar but using “I statements” helps to make the conversation about what you are seeing and your concerns rather than if the behavior of your friend is right or wrong.
  4. Be resourceful. More than anything else, the role of a friend is to help someone who is struggling find some professional assistance.  Eating disorders are serious and need to be addressed by a medical professional.  Know where your friend can go for help, have the phone number ready, or know a trusted adult you and your friend can talk to.


If the conversation does not go perfectly, that is okay.  You are being a good friend by noticing what is going on in your friend’s life and caring enough to say something.  Stick with that friend and continue to encourage him or her to get help.  Remember to take care of yourself, too.  Having a close friend going through this can be very difficult for you too.  It is okay if you need to talk to a trusted adult about it too.

Jul 9

My Experience with Alcoholism

Posted By iamincontrol | July 9, 2015

Growing up I had a normal life– siblings I fought with and parents who loved each other. I went to school, came home, did my homework, ate dinner as a family anshutterstock_182000711d then played with my neighborhood kids till the streetlights came on, then went home and got ready for bed.

As I got older I started hearing my mother and father bickering quietly in another room, trying to be quiet enough so my siblings and I wouldn’t hear them. One night my mom and dad sat me and my three siblings down and told us that my father was switching his work shift from the day shift to the overnight shift. At the time it just seemed like the only thing changing was my dad’s work schedule, but little did I know that this was the beginning of my life falling apart. Due to my father’s work schedule, my mother and my father fought constantly.

The fights started with yelling and ending with items being thrown. Eventually they got divorced and you would think that this was the worse outcome, but it was not. Following the divorce my mother began to drink heavily to the point where I didn’t even know who my mother was anymore. I would find alcohol bottles everywhere in the house. At the age of 9, I was cleaning up after my mother.

Being a child living with an alcoholic parent is not something I can explain, but I can tell you that it is something no one would wish upon another. A lot of things changed in my life: my grandmother was over a lot to take care of us, my mother stopped going to work, and I hadn’t seen my dad in a year. Eventually, it got bad enough that my grandmother explained to my siblings and I that my mother needed to go away and that she would come back as our loving and caring mother again. I did not understand what this meant. But, the next thing,I knew, I was packing a bag and moving to my grandparents for the next 3 months. We were not able to visit my mother for the first month, however following the first month every Sunday was spent getting up early in the morning, collecting all the things I had done in school, piling in the car, driving for 3 hours, and then spending the afternoon in a hospital like facility showing my mom all the things I have done well and hoping that it was enough to get her to come home.

I did not understand how serious alcoholism was because I was so young. However, now that I am 21 years old and I have been through interventions and treatment centers with two family members I have experienced all the pain, all the confusion, and all the anger. The most important thing I learned is that alcoholism is not a choice, but it is most definitely a disease.

If you or a family member are experiencing alcoholism, please get them some help. Here is a link:

Jul 2

Why you Should Wear Sunscreen

Posted By iamincontrol | July 2, 2015


Overwhelming, you guys say you never wear sunscreen. But IAMinControl is here to help you change your mind.

The Fourth of July is right around the corner.  On the fourth, you can find me with a piece of watermelon in one hand and a hot dog in the other soaking up shutterstock_180184937the summer sun. I LIVE FOR SUMMER! I love the long summer days, with the grills fired up, and the SUN! But where there is sun, there is a potential for burns, blisters, or dehydration. Being sun-safe is important to the future of your skin and health. Here are things you should know about sun and sunscreen:

  1. SUNBURNS SUCK! They a.) hurt and b.) could cause many health issues, including skin cancer
  2. Use sunscreen that is SPF30 or higher and reapply every hour and/or every time you get out of the water.
  3. Tan lines can happen in weird places, to avoid, put sunscreen everywhere
  4. You’ll look red (think lobster)
  5. Blisters can happen, and they are gross
  6. Peeling skin looks great, NOT!

Just wear sunscreen, every time you are outside. And reapply many times and/or when you get out of the water. It will make your summer so much better and your skin will thank you when you aren’t a wrinkly mess in eighty years.

Jun 30

What is Self-Care and Why You Should Be Doing It?

Posted By iamincontrol | June 30, 2015

I am sure that all of you have heard the term “self-care”, maybe it has come from an adult or teacher who cares deeply.  But what does this tshutterstock_108045950erm mean and how does someone do self-care?

Self-care is when someone takes time to put themselves first. Many times we have competing priorities and our schedules are full of band practice, school play, baseball, our job, church group, and much more. It can be exhausting and soon we find ourselves falling asleep at practice or in class. We need to step away and recharge our battery for a day or night. About a year ago, I was going through a similar state of exhaustion, so I instated “Self Care Sundays”, which has completely rejuvenated me. Here are your steps to creating self-care:

  • Know Yourself: First, you should find out how you recharge your battery. Do you feel most at ease visiting friends or spending time by yourself? Take this Myers Briggs Test to find out your personality type and what recharges you:
  • Find things that fit your personality type: Once you understand your personality, find tasks that play into ways that you recharge your battery. For example, if you like being alone, don’t spend your self-care night hanging out with a big group of people, instead cocoon in your bed and watch Netflix. If you who love to be around others, don’t spend it alone.
  • Make a plan for how you will achieve your self-care time: Clear your schedule if you want to be alone or make plans with friends if you need to recharge with people around. Whatever it is, just make sure it will happen.

Following these steps will get you on your way to a rejuvenated self that feels energized and focused.