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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 21

Virgin and Unashamed by Abigail

Posted By iamincontrol | July 21, 2016

You hear about all the responsibilities that come with having sex, but sometimes you don’t hear about the social pressure to have or not have sex. Having sex is a personal choice each person makes that can be based on serval factors including: religious status, personal reasons, tradition for marriage, or family values, and more. I knew about contraceptives and the risks of STDs but I didn’t worry much about sex until the summer of my senior year of high school when I was getting ready to move away to college. Sometimes, the college culture can be portrayed as people partying and having casual hookups. I never really questioned my status as a virgin until I started college. Something hit me, I realized my virginity wasn’t something to be ashamed of! I realized that I wasn’t less than others because I decided to wait to have sex. I also finally saw that my worth as a woman was not in my sexual status, but the strength in my personal respect for myself.

Attractive young woman lying on floorHere are some things to remember about being a virgin:

  1. You have to have patience: Relationships come and go. You should talk and get to know a lot of people so you know what you like. You’ll know when you like that person and you’ll know when you’re ready. If that is marriage, that’s great. If it isn’t, that’s great too.
  1. You are desirable: The girl or boy you are dating finds you attractive regardless of your status as a virgin or not. Being in a relationship isn’t just about physical things, they should also respect your wishes and desires.
  1. You aren’t rushing things: Despite what you see on TV or in movies, sex is a big deal. When you have sex with someone, you physically and emotionally saying there is no one else you would rather be with in that moment. This goes back to patience. The saying is that love is patient and kind, not quick and convenient.
  1. You can hold a conversation: If it is known you are a virgin, a girl or guy is more likely to hold a conversation with you on the basis of them knowing that you aren’t trying to get in their pants.
  1. You aren’t making stupid decisions: Being a virgin makes you think a lot more about your choice of partner, if and when you choose to have sex.

I don’t want this to be a post shaming people who choose to have sex. Who knows when I will, I can’t guarantee it will be after marriage but I can guarantee it will be when it feels right.

For more info on safe sex visit:

Jul 19

What is Healthy?

Posted By iamincontrol | July 19, 2016

Every day we are faced with difficult choices in every aspect of life. One of the more difficult choices: food. We are constantly surrounded by advertisements on television and billboards and product endorsements from celebrities. Not only are people trying to sell us things but there is so much information on fad diets and products promising to help us shed weight quickly thrown at us all of the time. When results seem too good to be true, they probably are. Miracle diets and cleanses can not only be ineffective, but they can also be dangerous.

So what’s the real key to a healthy diet you ask? Variety. Eat different kinds of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and proteins, and lots of fiber and vitamins. Try to get a variety tFruits&Veggieshroughout your day and make sure that you’re not eating the same things day after day. A good way to monitor your variety is to try to eat the rainbow because color can be a good indicator of the nutritional value. This doesn’t mean a literal rainbow, but make sure not everything is on your plate/in your fridge is the same color. While fruit is healthy, only buying strawberries, raspberries, and watermelon isn’t going to provide a diverse set of vitamins and nutrients. On that note, dark, leafy greens tend to have the most nutrition packed in while white foods tend to have the least. Always monitor portion control as well. You can have too much of a good thing! Try to avoid processed foods, as well as, excessive fat, sugar and sodium.

For tips to help you cut down of processed foods visit:

Jul 14

The Buzz About the Bees

Posted By iamincontrol | July 14, 2016

Western honey bee or European honey bee, Apis mellifera, carrying pollen, in front of white backgroundWe are currently experiencing a huge epidemic around the world that is the massive die-off of the honey bees. I know what you’re thinking: Well honey is delicious, but I could definitely do without bee stings this summer! Well, it’s not so simple. Honey bees are in charge of pollinating everything from pretty flowers and nutritious crops. We rely on bees to pollinate about one third of everything we eat (One Green Planet) and without the bees around to pollinate, we could eliminate certain species of plants from the earth. The leading theory of the reason behind the die-off is the use of pesticides and fungicides on crops that then contaminate the pollen and are transferred to the bees.

While we need more research and more legislation to help the honey bees on a large scale, there are a few things we can do ourselves to help our friends the honey bees (Save Honey Bees):

  1. You can have nectar plants in your own gardens so your local bees have the food they need.
  2. You can reduce the amount of pesticides you use.
  3. You can support companies that support bee research and breeding programs.

To learn more about honey bee conservancy visit:

Jul 12

Drink More Water

Posted By iamincontrol | July 12, 2016

We’ve all heard that we need to be drinking water every day, but why? We need to consume water to function because we are constantly expelling it by skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool. We also lose extra water in high temperatures and when working out. We can replace this water with food and other liquids, but the easiest way to monitor it is just to sip on that H2O. Sugary alternatives such as soda, juice or energy drinks can technically help you replenish the water in your body but excess sugar can be very bad for your health

Tips to drink more H20:Infused water with lemon, cucumber and mint on wooden background

  • Buy a water bottle. Having a water bottle with you is a great reminder in and of itself to drink up! Plus plastic water bottle can contribute to landfill and can take decades to decompose.
  • Decorate your bottle. This way your bottle is not only helping you stay hydrated by it’s also an accessory! And it’s easier to keep track of if you set it down somewhere.
  • Set goals. For example, tell yourself that you want to drink a whole bottle-full by noon or that you want to drink three whole bottle by the end of the day.

But we all know that water just isn’t as tasty as sugary alternatives. Here are tips to make it taste better:

  • Naturally flavored water. Fruit and herbs are an easy, healthy way to add flavor to your water! Some popular additives are lemon, berries, melon, mint, or basil. Get more ideas here.
  • Tea. Hot or iced tea is tasty and some varieties are even thought to be beneficial to your health. You add natural flavorings to kick it up a notch, just avoid added sugar.
  • Avoid sugary additives. Companies promote on-the-go sugary additives as a way to flavor water. These products could have just as much sugar as the juices and sodas you’re trying to avoid.

Here’s a cool trick to know when you’re hydrated or not: the lighter your pee is the better. When your urine is a super dark yellowish color it means it’s time to amp up the water intake, but when it’s a light and barely yellow you’re good to go!

To learn about the negative impact of sugar visit:

For fruit infused water ides visit:

Jul 7

Marijuana & Changing Attitudes in America

Posted By iamincontrol | July 7, 2016

The legalizatMarijuana in USion and decriminalization of marijuana, medical and recreational, has been a hot topic recently in the United States and we are seeing an increase in pro-marijuana legislation. Medical marijuana is legal in twenty-three states and Washington DC. This gives individuals with varying health issues another option for treatment. Laws differ by state, but decriminalization typically means that to have possession of small amounts of marijuana is not a crime. Large quantities and/or evidence of selling marijuana is still illegal. When we talk legalization we mean that to use of marijuana is not a crime. It is sold at stores, or “dispensaries,” and is essentially treated like alcohol and tobacco in some parts of the US. Right now we have four states that have legalized for recreational use: Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Colorado. In these states, the use of marijuana is legal, but there are still laws against the use in public, the use by minors, and driving under the influence is still a criminal offense.

Just because, as a country, we are starting to reduce laws against marijuana, doesn’t mean that we are condoning the use and abuse of the drug. More relaxed laws on recreational drug use may encourage individuals to abuse the drug. Many experts agree that the lack of strict laws will increase usage across the country, just as we saw after the end of the prohibition of alcohol in the 1930’s. Marijuana has been proven to kill brain cells and reduce IQ levels with prolonged abuse. It is a hazard to lungs and has been linked to lung and other respiratory cancers. The drug is psychologically addictive, meaning users believe they need it to function. Social skills can be negatively affected and there are links to mental illness associated with marijuana. Even though it may seem like marijuana use is okay and safe because we are changing the laws, this isn’t true. Marijuana is dangerous, no matter the current law. Just like tobacco and alcohol, the drug can lead to abuse and problems socially, mentally, and physically.

To learn more about marijuana and marijuana policy in the US visit:

Jul 5

Poll Results & The Dangers of “Inspo”

Posted By iamincontrol | July 5, 2016

Poll results are in and teens of Iowa think that “Inspo” accounts are damaging to young adult’s ideas of health.

“Inspo,” short for “inspiration,” is a new term to describe social media that inspires us, usually in regards to health and fitness. An “Inspo” account could be workout videos, weight-loss tips, or pictures of healthy food. Some of these accounts are of real individuals who truly want to share their success and help others be successful in their health goals too. But be careful, because some of these accounts are manufactured and don’t actually depict real people. They could be using Photoshopped™ and stock images to gain followers and popularity. Use extra caution when these accounts are trying to sell fitness plans, a gym membership or weight loss product.

Our generation has created a new brand of “celebrity.” Viners, Youtubers, and popular Instagram pages have developed fame in their own right. Internet stars are capitalizing on their special Powerful girl with glasses. Reality vs ambition wishful thinking conceptbrand by endorsing products on their social media pages. The things that have been really sticking out to me are these teas promising to help people burn fat and lose weight. These new products strike me as odd for a variety of reasons. 1) Tea is already healthy in a variety of ways and can be helpful when trying to get healthy or lose weight. We have known about the healthy properties of teas for centuries and centuries without being marketed specifically as an aid to losing weight. 2) The people (usually women) advertising these products are almost always already in exceptionally good shape and have no evidence or proof that the tea is what made them look as fit as they do. The only “evidence” they provide is stories about how they feel less bloated, or have shred some pounds, or something along these lines. These “stars” are getting paid to tell you to buy a product and they don’t really care whether it works, or worse, is harmful. Please ask your doctor before you try products like this because they can actually hurt you.

Also keep in mind that these accounts are not promoting health, but a specific body type that media tells us is healthy. If you are working out, eating healthy, and feeling good, you’re already doing a great job! Most people can’t and do not look like fitness models and that is okay. Take care of your body and learn to love it and all it does for you on a daily basis. Remember, the most attractive thing you can be is confident, and there is no size attached to confidence.

For more info on the dangers of inspo visit:


For more on detox teas visit:

Jun 30

Pride Events

Posted By iamincontrol | June 30, 2016

New York Gay Pride MarchSo now that you know a little more about the LGBTQ community, let’s celebrate! Pride events happen all throughout the year across the country and across the globe, but many of the events happen during the summer. What is a pride event, you ask? It’s simply a parade, festival, or series of activities that celebrate gay pride. These are family-friendly events that encourage the whole community to get together to celebrate, not only the gay community and their culture, but to celebrate everyone and their uniqueness. One local Iowa City pride event motto is, “Our goal is to build community and acceptance through events that celebrate diversity.”

So what kinds of things are there to do? Usually pride events include a variety of activities that span a couple of days or a whole week. Food, music, dancing, vendors, and art are just some of the things you will witness at your local pride event. Drag Queens and Drag Kings are common site at such events. Drag Queens are men dressed in women clothes with hair and makeup to match and Drag Kings are women dressed as men. Many times Drag Queens and Kings perform lip sync routines or just display a persona in order to entertain audience members. Drag shows are often part of the night life associated with gay pride, but can also be seen walking the streets or performing during the day at pride. Also, the rainbow is an essential symbol to the pride movement and can be seen everywhere during pride events in the form of floats, flags, clothing, and much more.

On June 26, 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal in all 50 states and there is sure to be an abundance of celebration on the one year anniversary along with normally scheduled pride events. You can find out more about your local pride events online and ways for you to get involved.

Search the web to find events closest to you or check out Iowa’s two biggest pride events this summer in Iowa City or Des Moines: 

Jun 28

Summer Injury Prevention

Posted By iamincontrol | June 28, 2016

Injuries are very common during the summer. Extra free time and nice weather leads to beach outings, picnics, hikes, and just more time outdoors in general. Summer activities require specific precautions to prevent injury.

  • Bicycles: When riding a bike, scooter, skateboard, or even hover board, a helmet should be worn at all times (elbow and knee pads aren’t a bad idea either).
  • Boats: A major concern with boat safety is life jackets. Minors should be wearing life jackets at all times on the boat. An accident can happen at any moment and drowning is a leading cause of death for children during the summer. Swim lessons are also essential to anyone who spends a significant Grandparents With Children Cycling Through Fall Woodlandamount of time in the water. Being able to swim properly, as well as, emergency training helps save lives every summer.
  • Lawn mowers: Often just thought of as a chore, law mower can be very dangerous and they cause many injuries and deaths each year. Proper footwear and training can prevent accidents and young children and pets should be kept indoors while mowing.
  • Fireworks: Although fireworks are illegal to have in Iowa they are still used anyway. Fireworks should be operated by adults. Horseplay causes almost all of firework injury and deaths. Possessing fireworks can lead to trouble with police, and improper use could lead to injury or even death.
  • Dehydration: No matter what outdoor activity you have planned make sure to bring plenty of water. Dehydration symptoms include: dry mouth, extreme thirst, sleepiness, thirst, decreased urination, headache, constipation and lightheadedness. If you see anyone experiencing these symptoms, get them water and get them to a doctor.

Lastly, the final major cause of injury for teens during the summer is violence. With school not being in session many teens are spending more time with peers, and possibly bad influences.

For other tips to stay safe this summer visit:

Jun 23

“Wow, I like your hair. What are you mixed with?”

Posted By iamincontrol | June 23, 2016

A microaggression is a statement, usually where no harm is meant, that implies something about a person based on societal groupings. For example, one of the most common microaggressions that people hear on a daily basis is, “Where are you from really?” When looking at a person and one assumes that they couldn’t be from the United States, that is a microaggression. Microaggressions are not related to any specific race, gender, sexuality, or any other type of indicator. A person’s ethnicity, clothing, haircut, music preferences, hobbies, etc., do not have any effect on themselves as a person, but seem to frequently encourage individuals to make such assumptions.

As a biracial female, I have personally experienced microaggressions throughout my life. I have big, curly, brown hair that tends to stick out to people. I receive many positive, non-confrontational comments all the time, but occasionally my hair encourages a microaggression: “Wow, I like your hair. What are you mixed with?” I appreciate the compliment, but following it up with a question about ethnicity is rude and off-putting from a stranger. While I understand that people are curious and genuinely don’t mean harm, it doesn’t mean that there comments don’t put me on edge. Am I devastated after hearing such comments? No. But they definitely stick with me. I have a whole bank of memories reserved in my brain for such occasions.

Please think before you speak. There’s always a line between what is appropriate and what is not and tTeenagers Young Team Together Cheerful Concepthat line is heavily dependent on the relationship of the people involved. If you don’t know how someone might react to a comment, avoid bringing it up altogether. Also be aware of body language and reactions from others.

Now that you know what a microaggression is, I hope you all can avoid them in conversation and educate your friends on what is appropriate and what is not appropriate in conversation.

For more information on racial microagressions visit:


Jun 21

LGBTQ- Understanding a Community

Posted By iamincontrol | June 21, 2016

LGBTQ: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer. What do these words mean? The LGBT community has many labels and to learn and understand them all may seem overwhelming. Before we can even begin to try to dive into more complicated labels (such as pansexual or intergender), we must first have a firm grasp on the basics.

A lesbian is a women who is sexually attracted to other women. Man and woman in arm wrestlin, rainbow flag patternThe word gay can cover other non-heterosexual lifestyles, but for the sake of simplicity, it describes a man sexually attracted to other men. A woman or man who identifies as bisexual is a person who is attracted to both women and men. Transgender refers to individuals who not completely identify with the gender given to them a birth. The term does not necessarily mean that they are altering their body, but it does mean that there is a disconnection with their biologically determined gender and their chosen gender. Queer is a term formally seen as derogatory but has since been converted into a term of empowerment that has come in encompass all forms of non-heterosexuality (heterosexuality meaning being attracted to the opposite sex). Because of it’s previous negative connotations, to use “queer” casually and out of context is not advised, but it is important to understand the word’s significance within the community.

There is another very important word not always reflected in the LGBTQ title. That word is ally. An ally is a person, of any sexuality, that defends and supports individuals who identify as LGBTQ.

Although the terminology can be complicated and slightly overwhelming, keep in mind everyone is different and uses these labels, or lack of labels, to identify their personal sexuality. Always be respectful. Curiosity is not an invitation to be rude or to invade someone’s privacy by asking overly personal questions. The overreaching goal is acceptance, respect and love for all human beings.

For more info on LGBTQ visit: