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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!
Sep 3

Big is Beautiful

Posted By iamincontrol | September 3, 2015

shutterstock_139543490Body image is one of the most important things going on in the world today. Society expects us to be a model size “2” or have a “coke bottle” figure. There are a lot of different expectations in different cultures as well. Hate to break it to you, but there are a lot of full figured women out there like me. I love my figure and all my curves and everything. A little extra isn’t so bad. I think big girls are beautiful. I think all body shapes are beautiful.

As long as you feel good about yourself, then that’s all that matters. Let the other people hate, who cares what others think about your body, it’s yours! That goes for men too because a lot of people expect men to be the ‘Calvin Klein” model but in reality there are a lot of men out there that are fluffy too. Yes, they are beautiful as well. I don’t think there are enough people out there to promote plus sized human beings and to tell them that they are beautiful too. Well I’m here to tell you big women and men that yes you are beautiful too!

Sep 1

Cell Phones: Addictive or Helpful?

Posted By iamincontrol | September 1, 2015

The poll results are in and overwhelmingly, the teens of Iowa find cell phones both helpful and addictive.

Cell Phones appear to be everywhere. But actually, a little over half of teens aged 10-14 have a cellphone and only a third have a smart phone. So in reality, not everyone has a smartphone. I am sure you have heard a parent or adult say, “Put that phone away” or “Do we need to surgically remove that phone from your hand?” My parents tell me that all the time, so it got me wondering if cell phones are addictive or really helpful.

Many people have been looking into this and found the average teen spends 8 hours a day on their cell phone. This is funny; because one of my friends had a breakdown last week, when he broke his phone and had to go phoneless for a week. Would you consider that an addiction? Probably. Are they helpful? Probably. Many people have been able to connect and find friendships and partners via cell phone technology. But it’s a fine line between too much. Here are 5 signs of cell phone addiction:

  1. Phantom Rings: You think your phone rings and vibrates when it doesn’t.
  2. Speedy Replies: You feel like you have to reply right away to all messages and your friends ask what was wrong when you don’t.
  3. Anxious When Away: You get anxiety when you can’t have your phone on you or look at it.
  4. FOMO: Fear of Missing Out when you look at your friend Insta Pics.
  5. Carry a Charger Everywhere: Just so your cell phone doesn’t die.

If you are going through any of these, maybe it’s time to look at whether you are addicted to your phone.

Aug 27

5 Things that Totally Suck About Puberty

Posted By iamincontrol | August 27, 2015

By now you have probably heard the term: Puberty, the transition from being a kid to becoming an adult.  The totally awkward time that happens to everyone. shutterstock_218767672Maybe it is happening to you right now.


Generally, puberty starts between ages 8 and 13 for girls and ages 9 and 15 for boys.  It’s the fastest and most dramatic time of change for your body, except for when you were a baby.  It is intense and can be confusing and even down-right painful.  Here are 5 things that totally suck about puberty and some ideas on how to make them suck less.


  1. Sleeves too short on last year’s jersey?  Blame puberty.  You are in a growth spurt that lasts for about 2 to 3 years.  You could grow 4 inches or more in one year! All that growth can be painful.  Shin-splints and “growing pains” are common among adolescents in puberty and can often be the worst at night.  Try asking your parent/guardian for a small dose of pain reliever or taking a warm bath before bed if the pains are keeping you awake at night.  It can also seem like one part of your body – your feet maybe – are growing faster than everything else.  This is totally normal, although it may feel super awkward.  The rest of your body will catch up and you will become familiar and comfortable with your new shape.


  1. Hair. As a kid, you only had hair on your head, but now it seems like it is showing up everywhere – armpits, legs, groin, chest, and even on your face! At first hair is light and thin but as you continue to develop it gets thinker and courser and you might want t to start doing something about it. If your new hair is bothering you, ask a parent/guardian or older sibling to take you to get a razor of your own and teach you how to shave.


  1. Zits. During puberty, your skin will produce more oil – this will help your skin stay soft and reduce wrinkles as you age, but while your skin is adjusting, you make get zits or even acne (frequent break-outs). Again, this is totally normal during puberty and super annoying.  To help reduce the number of zits you get, wash your face with soap and water every night and every morning and resist the urge to pick at any zits that do pop up.  Zits are filled with bacteria that could spread if you pick at them.  It is better to leave them alone or use an over-the-counter ointment to help reduce the redness and swelling.


  1. Seepage. Your body starts … oozing things during puberty.  You may start to feel yourself sweat more both during physical and activity and just in everyday life.  The sweat is probably going to start to smell funky too.  It is time to ask a parent/guardian to help you purchase deodorant – and if the wetness is bothering you, buy one with antiperspirant too.  Deodorant only works to prevent you from becoming smelly – it won’t make you not stink if you are not staying clean.  So, be sure to wash your body every day.  Water alone isn’t enough anymore, you need to “lather, rinse, repeat” – use a sponge, washcloth, or loofa to turn soap into suds and then scrub your entire body, including armpits, butt and between your legs.


  1. Moods. The chemicals in your body called hormones are in charge of all these changes happening during puberty.  Hormones also control your emotions, and their rapid change can sometimes mean moods or emotions that you do not feel fully in control of.  This could mean you are irritated at your friends, parents or teachers, feel angry more often or easily upset.  It could also mean you are starting to have feelings of sexuality that you may not have had before.  Again, these are all a normal part of puberty.  If you are having a hard time with your emotions or feelings of sexuality, it might be good to talk to your parent/guardian or school nurse or counselor about what is going on.



Aug 25

Taylor Swift’s Mother: A Story of Hope to Others

Posted By iamincontrol | August 25, 2015

On Thursday, April 9, 2015 Taylor Swift announced the sad news to her fans on Tumblr that her mother had been diagnosed with cancer.  She stated that she wasshutterstock_153061814 not wanting to share the specific details of the condition or the treatment plans, but the fact that she shared this information with her fans was enough for her fans to react and state thousands of times that they were praying for her family and that their thoughts were with Swift’s mom, even enough to create a hashtag “#PrayforMamaSwift.” Over time, I think many of us have become dull to what celebrities state in tabloids and magazines because we are unsure if what is being told to us is true. However, this story about Swift seems to change this type of thinking and makes Swift seem more personal and caring to her fans.

I think that this story could have a great impact throughout the world.  When going through a tough time, having a support system is very crucial. Because no matter what happens, she will know someone will be there for her.  We have an especially hard time opening up to people about hard times in our life because it is not a peppy conversation to have. But these conversations are crucial to have in order to maintain your social life and happiness.

During high school I actually had a friend whose mother died from breast cancer. She maintained her social connections and I think that is one of the main reasons why she is as strong as she is today. Throughout the hardest parts of her mother’s situation, she was still close to her friends and she did not block people out. She was also not afraid to talk about the issue, which helped both her and those around her.  The topic of her mother having cancer was not considered taboo and this helped her to cope with it because she knew she could come to us for whatever she needed. Similar to Swift and my friend I think that we should take this advice and talk to friends about hard things in their life so that they can be strong and have a support system to continuously turn to.  No matter who it is; family, friends or teachers, everybody needs someone to turn to. So thanks Swift again for this impact on our lives.

Aug 18

Taking the First Steps to Living

Posted By iamincontrol | August 18, 2015

Life consists of a constant battle between our self and what society tells us to be. This battle pushes us and pushes us to make decisions we wouldn’t make normally. It wears and tears at our hearts to be people we may not want to be or people we don’t know. These battles force us to run. Run from life, family, faith, from taking chances we may never get again. Parents teach their children to go to school and graduate, go to college and graduate, and get married and have kids. We are often molded to fit in with the norm so that we aren’t bullied or hurt. We live this safe life every day of every year because of fear and the unknown. When we face a decision that could change our lives, we run. Whether it’s a way of living, family and friends, or our mind second guessing itself, we deflect.


Let’s say you and your parents move to a new town and you start school in a new place. Many people nowadays choose to not get involved in that school because of fear. Fear of a new place, a different life, and a different culture. It truly is human nature to turn away from an opportunity because we think of one little thing it affects. These little things that we think about it affecting become huge. Change is hard and change is scary, but why is this ruling our lives? Why are we letting fear make our decisions for us?  Why are we sitting around doing the same thing we do every single day, day after day? So many people do the same thing at work, go to the same hair salon, and always shop at the same places.


It’s time to branch out a little. These everyday battles we face with our souls need to be discovered. I’m proposing that we stop running from our hurt, our enemies, and the chances we never take. Just think about it. Since when did living become a bad thing? Since when did doing something you’ve never done before become so surprising? So, next time you drive to work go a different way. Next time you get your hair cut, go to someone else. Do this because you want to. Be who you want to be and live how you want to live. Go around them, apply for a scholarship, get a new job, and find a way to do the things you want to do. You never truly know what is out in this world until you put the map and planner down and start searching. Let’s stop running from our souls. Let’s stop letting fear and change win. Let’s start living. shutterstock_225765025

Aug 18

Do you Bully Yourself?

Posted By iamincontrol | August 18, 2015

Recently on Buzzfeed, yet another time-wasting quiz popped up on my feed. However– unlike “Which possible Illuminati member are you?” (Beyoncé, obv) or shutterstock_108383702“Can we guess your age based on your favorite Pretty Little Liars character?” (no comment)—this one actually got me thinking.

The quiz was called “Do you bully yourself?” I clicked on it mindlessly, thinking the answer would be ‘no’—like, I’m don’t exactly make a habit of sending myself mean texts or punching myself in the face, right?

But going through the list, I realized how many of these things I do all the time to bully myself without realizing it! Here are some examples from the list that stood out:

  • Say ‘sorry’ when you really mean to say ‘excuse me’
  • Tell others that you’re a mess, or that you need to get your stuff together.
  • Call yourself a bad person when you eat foods you think you shouldn’t
  • Respond to compliments with anything other than a “Thank you!”
  • Start conversations with “I’m sorry to bother you”
  • Feel guilty about saying ‘no’
  • Tell yourself or anyone else that you are having a bad hair day
  • Let yourself think that making mistakes means you are bad at things.

If someone else had the nerve to tell me I was ‘bad person’ for eating a cupcake for dinner—well, I would probably throw that cupcake at their face (but would ultimately reconsider, since violence is never the answer and furthermore that is just a sad waste of a good cupcake)! But we say things like that to ourselves all the time like it’s no big deal.

Often we are our own worst critics, and refuse to stand up to the bully in the mirror or in our head. Try to think about that the next time you find those nasty thoughts creeping in—what would you tell a friend in the same situation? You would remind your friend that they are FABULOUS, right??!

So be a good friend to yourself instead of your own worst enemy. In the immortal words of T. Swift, shake it off, smile, and stand up to the hater inside!

Aug 13

Prairie Doggin’ and Jogging: Why You Get the Urge to Poop When You’re Running

Posted By iamincontrol | August 13, 2015

My first running experience went a little like this. We started off at a reasonable pace. I like to call it my honey pace, because it is a sweet place to be and doesn’t shutterstock_214489495leave me hurting.  As we approached a curve my friend, Nick, started to pick up the pace; unfortunately, the pace kicked-up right as we were heading up an incline.  I kept my cool and tried to keep up, but my sides were not having it and I tapped out and told my friend I was going to have to slow it down and that he could keep going and I would catch up later.  Spoiler alert, I never caught up with him.   As he became a small dot in front of me I started to feel good as I ran on my own through the suburban landscape I called home.  However, things took a horrible turn.  As I ran, I began to cramp, but the cramps I was getting were far too familiar.  I kept running, but I was still cramping.  I had to poop…

I kept my cool and tried to keep my pace and focus my mind on other things. It wasn’t working.  I had to go now! I frantically looked around to find a spot where I could do my duty!  Was I really about to poop outside in a neighborhood?  The urge was so real.

I knew I could just escape the pain by relieving myself behind a tree, but what was I, a dog?  I got bold and knocked on the next door I passed.  Luckily, a woman answered the door.  She saw the look on my face and became worried.  I informed her that I was on a run in an unfamiliar area and I needed to go to the bathroom really bad.  She let me in. I relieved myself and left the bathroom.  I informed the lady that that wing of the house was closed and jogged out as she yelled from behind…

So, why do we get the urge to poop when we are running?  According to a study in International SportsMed Journal somewhere between 30%-83% of runners’ experience “gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances” while running—a/k/a they need to poop.  When you are running, everything inside your body is being jostled around with each pounding step on the pavement.  This jostles your intestines.  On top of this, your body is working in a very different way.  When you are running, blood flow tends to shift towards the big muscles being used, according to Dr. Sophie Balzora, from NYU Langone Medical Center[1].

Other things that contribute to this pooping phenomenon include:

  • Eating right before you run
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Starting a new running program
  • The distance and time you decide to run


Dr. Greg Pelc, from the University of Iowa, says, “You need to take care of business before hand, wear appropriate running shorts (not jean shorts), and stay hydrated.”

What can you do?  To mitigate that prairie dog urge you might get while running, here are some simple tips to help you out:

  • Take it easy when starting any new running program
  • Drink plenty of water before you run to stay hydrated, but not too much
  • Avoid eating before you run (1-2 hours)
  • Plan accordingly depending on distance and time you run


So, if you are experiencing that prairie dog feeling while you are jogging away, make sure you take some of these simple steps to avoid the discomfort and make it to the finish line.

[1] BuzzFeed


Aug 11

On Being Uncomfortable with my Weight

Posted By addie | August 11, 2015

Ever since I can remember, I have been uncomfortable with my weight. Growing up in a house with six kids– four of them boys– I ate like the boys did. We ate cheap and in bulk, and I was no exception to the “chubby” stage of the adolescent years.  As I got to high school, I realized I was just one of many who struggled with body image issues. People judge themselves by the number on the scale, or the number of individuals who pursue them. I thought that by the time I was a senior in high school, I would be surrounded by women who felt empowered and confident. But this has not been the case; in fact, it has grown worse. Many of my friends are going from one fad diet to another, working out multiple times a day, skipping meals, putting themselves down….the list goes on and on. Of course, as a friend, you say the things that would make them feel better, such as “Oh stop it, you’re beautiful,” or “You deserve better.” I truly meant all of these things, yet I couldn’t get myself to believe it when it came to my body and the way I should be treated.  Then one day, I realized what really needed to change. I was always dependent on my friends to cheer me up and make me feel better when I was the one who really needed look inside myself and change. I had to be okay with my appearance and who I was as a person. It is easy to say those words to a friend, and really mean them, but if you can’t say the same thing to yourself, it means nothing. I needed to start being the friend I wanted in others. It is a daily battle, but it is about changing your mindset. Looking in the mirror and stop pointing out your flaws, but instead qualities you like about yourself. If you do this, you will soon find yourself more at peace and will become a better friend, daughter, granddaughter, and all around person, who acknowledges they are beautiful, inside and out.shutterstock_165357767

Aug 6


Posted By addie | August 6, 2015

Baseball season is finishing up here in Iowa, while the Major Leagues are gearing up for the World Series. Baseball is associated with a lot of fun things like hot dogs, 7th inning stretches, and good times. It is America’s favorite past time, right? One of the unfortunate things that baseball is also correlated with is chewing tobacco. Baseball players can often be seen having a large lump of tobacco in their bottom lip and spitting out brown liquid. Sounds attractive right? This connection between baseball and chewing tobacco is something that many people are trying to stop. Recently, the mayor of San Francisco banned chewing tobacco in all sports fields. Whether you were a baseball player this summer or a fan, here are some facts about chewing tobacco:

-Chewing tobacco causes users to have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancer and 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancer.

-Smokeless tobacco products can also increase the risk of a fatal heart attack and stroke.

-No scientific evidence exists to show that chew will help a person quit smoking cigarettes.

-The amount of nicotine (addictive substance in tobacco products) in chew can be 3 to 4 times the amount in cigarettes.


The facts are here– chew is really bad stuff, and very addictive. So let’s keep our mouths clean and make baseball about the sport and not about the distractions of chewing tobacco. Here’s a link to some more information and videos from a campaign called “Spit it Out” :

Aug 4

5 WAYS to Start School Off on the Good Foot.

Posted By addie | August 4, 2015

Poll Results are IN! Overwhelmingly, everyone feels like they are kind of ready for  school to startshutterstock_300263087.

Regardless of your feelings about school starting, the day will come where you will have to grab that backpack and head off to school for the first day. Every school year can bring a lot of excitement, but also a lot of anxiety and nervousness. Those feelings are a part of change, but IAMinControl is here to give you tips to start off the school year right.

  1. Get Involved – Join a new club, try out for the play, or join a sports team. These are great ways to meet new people with similar interests and to make your time at school fun and exciting.
  2. Routines are Key– Make a routine that helps you manage your time. When you go to bed, put your books in your bag, check to make sure you have all your assignments done, and check your schedule for tomorrow
  3. Get an assignment book/planner– This isn’t nerdy, it’s a necessity. It’s hard to keep up with all the assignments, birthday parties, practices, and family events. The planner will be your brain when you have seemed to have misplaced yours.
  4. Eat a good breakfast– This is key to the start of a good day. It will prevent your stomach from growling during that math class that lands right before lunch.
  5. Forget Procrastination-Waiting last minute to do an assignment is unnecessary stress. If you follow the above tips, you won’t have to procrastinate.


These tips will ensure a successful school year. IAMinControl wants to wish you the best of luck as you start this new school year.