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I AM in Control.org 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!
Feb 11

National Condom Month

Posted By iamincontrol | February 11, 2016

condomI had just turned nineteen and I was excited to do everything with my friends, but I had just found out something that changed my life forever. It was about three weeks after I turned nineteen, I found out I was pregnant. I had so many plans, dreams and aspirations. I wondered if this would change it all. How could I take care of a baby, I barely can remember to feed my fish! I continued on with the pregnancy, everything became about achieving and striving for my future and my baby. I knew I had to finish school but I didn’t know how I could handle it all. Did the other people in my classes look at me funny as I began to grow bigger and bigger? You bet.  I had the baby with three weeks of school left and I am still going to school; this is my first full semester that I will be taking with my baby.

If I could go back I would have been more careful and would have educated myself on safe sex practices. One of the most important things I can remind you of is to use protection if you are thinking of having sex, talk to your doctor about birth control options, or wait to have sex and enjoy your partner without being so physically invested. I love my son, but I was not ready for him. Being a young parent is not a fun or easy thing. It is hard work, dedication and selflessness. If you are thinking of being sexually active in the future, know your options and use protection that way you can help to prevent unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

For more information about safe sex visit: http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/sexual-health/all-about-condoms/male-condoms/

Feb 9

Young Love

Posted By iamincontrol | February 9, 2016

shutterstock_225765025“I mean, she gave me my first kiss. She taught me how to dance… When I am with her I feel happy to be alive, like I can do anything… So that’s what I feel is love, when I’m better because she is here.”  People often joke that Corey and Topanga from the 90s sitcom, Boy Meets World, give people unrealistic expectations of high school romance, I mean no one meets the love of their life when they are six years old on the monkey bars right?

My love story may not have started that young, but I was only 15 when I met my now fiancé.  I might not have known that my then crush would be my now fiancé at the time, but I did know that what I felt for him was real. Four years after the relationship began, he asked me to be his wife. There is a push in today’s culture to wait until you are in your mid-twenties to get married. While this may work for some people, it is not what works for everyone. People are always surprised to hear about my relationship, I always get responses like, “you are so young” and “you have not experienced life yet.” My response to them? My fiancé and I have been in a serious relationship for four years, I am graduating in one year and he has a full time job. I want to experience life with the love of my life.

You also need to remember that there are good and bad relationships. I have included a link to StayTeen.org that includes many articles with advice on how to have a healthy and happy relationship. There is advice on everything from how to have a productive argument to how to tell if you are in an abusive relationship. Take your time when deciding who you want to start a relationship with. There are a few big things you should consider before jumping into a long-term relationship:

  1. Make sure you and your significant other feel comfortable around each other
  2. Continue living your separate lives even if you are together; for example, my fiancé loves to hunt and I love musical theatre, we both respect each other’s hobbies even if I do not like hunting and he does not like musical theatre
  3. Finally, make sure you are happy, there is no point in staying in a relationship in which you find no happiness, it only ends in disappointment for both people involved

When you are young and in love people sometimes don’t like to take you seriously. I am not saying that you should rush into a marriage that you are not ready for financially or emotionally, I am simply here to tell you that your feelings should be taken seriously and that there is nothing wrong with marrying your high school sweetheart.

Find more information about healthy relationships here: http://stayteen.org/category/tags/healthy-relationships

Feb 4

Protect Your Heart!

Posted By iamincontrol | February 4, 2016

February is American Heart Awareness Month.  The heart is so important, it’s the muscle that sends blood, oxygen and nutrients around our boshutterstock_92925673dy. So, it’s no surprise that people are worried about heart health. The good thing is that heart disease can be prevented by managing health conditions and making healthy lifestyle choices.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease isn’t something you can catch like the flu, certain things affect a person’s heart heath. You may even know someone who has heart disease. According to the National Institute of Health, heart disease happens when the blood vessels of the heart aren’t working like they should. A heart attack happens when a passageway to the heart becomes blocked, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart.

Why should I be worried?

Heart disease is a lifelong condition, so once you have it you’ll have it for life. Surgeries and medications can help the heart beat easier but complications can arise. Your health decisions now, affect your health later in life. Some risk factors for heart disease include smoking, unhealthy diet, being physically inactive and being overweight.

What things should I eat to protect my heart?

As a part of any healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  These foods are packed with nutrients that are great for your body. Eat less salt, salt increases your blood pressure and adds stress on your heart. Try looking for low sodium options- they even have low sodium soy sauce if you ask for it! Add grilled fish or nuts to your meals. They have good fats in them that your heart actually benefits from! Stay away from fried foods, processed snacks and deli meats these options have lots of salt and fats added to them.

What other things should I do?

Be active! Go on a walk or spend time paying with friends. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest 150 minutes a week of physical activity. So, just playing for 35 minutes per day will have you meeting the guidelines! Know the risks of heart disease and talk to your health professional if you have any concerns.

Want to protect your heart at every age? Check out: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/Preventing-Heart-Disease—At-Any-Age_UCM_442925_Article.jsp#.VorpK02M270

Feb 2

7 Tips to Successfully Schedule a Doctor’s Visit

Posted By iamincontrol | February 2, 2016

Poll results are in and teens in Iowa are split 50/50 on knowing how to schedule a doctor’s visit by themselves.

Scheduling a doctor’s visit can seem like a daunting task! You won’t be able to schedule your own doctor’s appointment until your 18 years or older, unless your parents have signed a release form or if you have a mental health, sexual health or substance use concern.  However, knowing how to schedule your own doctor’s visit now will help you ease into a healthy independence!

Tips to Successfully Schedule a Doctor’s Visit:

  1. First things first, express your interest in taking an active role in your medical care. Talk to your parents or guardian and health professional about making appointments. Talking to others can help you gather information on what to expect when calling.
  2. Collect the correct information. You will need to know what hospital or clinic to call and your health professionals’ name. To schedule a visit, you may need to know personal information about yourself and your parent/guardian including birthdates, social security numbers and insurance information. Write down this information if needed and store it in a safe place.
  3. Listen in! Have your parent or guardian put the phone on speaker when scheduling a doctor’s appointment. You’ll be able to hear what the interaction is like for yourself.
  4. Know your schedule. It is important to know what times work best to visit the doctor, so when you call you can tell them your available times.
  5. Think about transportation. If you are unable to drive or make the trip to the doctor yourself, plan your visit with transportation in mind. Look up times of public transportation or communicate with the person who will be taking you to the doctor before making the appointment so you can make sure you will be on time.
  6. Grab a calendar and piece of paper! When you make the call you may need to write down notes of the date, time, location and any additional information about your visit. Writing down notes will help you remember any details of your call.
  7. When you are old enough or if you have a situation that permits, make the call. If needed, have your parent or guardian in the room to help you if you get stuck. It may seem scary at first but once you take the first step by yourself you can soon take more control of your own health.

Questions about managing your own medical care? Visit: ttp://kidshealth.org/teen/managing_care_center/index.html?tracking=82008_A#cat20877

Jan 28

Easy Everyday Tips to Get Moving!

Posted By iamincontrol | January 28, 2016

Do you get enough physical activity in every week? Did you know that The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans say that if you are 6-17 years old you should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity in per day and 150 minutes of physical activity in every week if you are 18 or older? You should also do bone and muscle strengthening activities 3 or more days per week regardless of age. Many Americans are not reaching The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans per week because they don’t know how to or do not think they have enough time. Below are some tips and examples to reach and exceed the guidelines!

To reach 60 minutes of activity per day or 150 minutes per week:

 Walk around the mall or grocery store

  • Have a dance party inside with your friends
  • Go ice skating
  • Sled, snowboard, or ski
  • Swim indoors at a YMCA or school pool
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Jump rope inside
  • Participate in PE games such as kickball and dodge ball in the gym
  • Play indoor racquetball or tennis
  • Play basketball, volleyball, or indoor soccer
  • YouTube a workout video to do with your family or friends

To reach bone and muscle strengthening 3 days per week:

  • lift weights (with adult supervision)
  • work with resistance bands
  • run on a treadmill
  • walk inside on a indoor track or at the mall
  • burpees, sit-ups, pushups, pullups, squats, plank holds

Want some additional tips?

Check out: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-tips

 

 

Jan 26

Don’t Isolate: Addiction in Your Family

Posted By iamincontrol | January 26, 2016

My life was going just like any other fifteen year olds. I was playing sports, hanging out with my friends, and working part-time job that I loved. Everything changed when I found out the truth about Girl in wine glass - Webwhat had been going on in my family, everything that I had been too blind to see. My mom was an alcoholic. I never saw the warning signs. I never saw her drink. How could my mom be an alcoholic?

After I found out my mom was an alcoholic I started to isolate. I didn’t know how to talk about it with my friends, so I didn’t. I now have found a passion to help others who may be experiencing a family member with an addiction. My advice to anyone who may be experiencing a situation similar to what I went through is:  find someone you trust to talk to. I was not comfortable to open up to my friends about such a sensitive matter that I felt they didn’t understand. If there isn’t anyone in your life that you feel comfortable talking to, find a school counselor or psychologist that you can talk to.

I have now come to terms with my family history of addiction. Once you begin to understand that addiction in your family isn’t something you should feel ashamed about, it will get much easier. It will probably never go away, but the more coping skills and people you know who will genuinely listen to you will help tremendously.

Don’t isolate. Don’t keep your emotions buried deep inside of you. Addiction in your family isn’t something to be ashamed of.

There are many resources that can help connect you to others who may be experiencing an addiction within their family as well. Al-Anon is a support group for family members of an addict. Their website is http://www.al-anon.org. Al-Anon meetings happen in almost every town or city. Their website is very helpful for finding a meeting near you.

Jan 21

5 Famous Failures

Posted By iamincontrol | January 21, 2016

You live and you learn! There are times in life when you will fail and you must pick yourself and keep going! These 5 famous people failed at some point in their life, but got back up and turned their failures into success! 

  1. Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn’t believe that one of the best basketball players of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team! Michael didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
  2.  J. K. Rowling: Rowling is known for her successful book series Harry Potter, but before she wrote these books she was broke, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling survived her darkest days and is now one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination!
  3.  Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah for her talk show and as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get where she is now. She had a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.” Look at her now!
  4. Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was also fired from his first two jobs. Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. After all those failures, he finally created his success because he didn’t let his failures take over.
  5. Walt Disney: Walt Disney had a rough start to his fame and success. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that ended with bankruptcy and failure. He didn’t let that stop him, he kept going and created a creative empire for himself!

 

 

Jan 19

Things I Wish I Kew Before I Went off to College

Posted By iamincontrol | January 19, 2016

  1. Look up from your phone once in a while

You will be on your own before you know it. Whether you’re moving out of your parent’s house, stepping out into the real world to pursue a full time job, or starting college; life is happening all around you! Take time to enjoy what life has to offer you! Your Facebook friends will be there tomorrow. Take time today to go to an event, travel, or just hang out with your friends and family!

 

  1. Exercise, exercise, exercise

 

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle. Your life in college may not revolve around sports anymore, your sweat filled after-school practices may turn into after school study sessions or naps in college. It may be a good idea to start paying attention to the foods that you are putting into your body because you probably aren’t burning all that food off like you used to. Live your life, enjoy all the foods you love in moderation, and stay as active as possible!

 

  1. Let go of him/her

 

Your high school sweetheart may not be “the one”. You might get your heart broken, and you might even break someone’s heart. It’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. Let go. Think about the life that you have ahead of you. They may come back, and they may not. If they somehow make their way back into your life it’s probably meant to be, but if not, don’t sweat it. When you go to college you will be able to step back and see how your life once was and how you would like it to be. Being in a new environment, trying new classes, and living on your own will teach you a lot about yourself and what you value in life. You may be surprised how easily you will get to know yourself in college, within that self-discovering time you may realize that it was something that wasn’t as meaningful as you thought.

 

  1. Save your money

 

Stop spending money on pointless, expensive things. In high school, it seems as if everyone is just competing with each other with their material items like new phones and name brand clothing. It’s easy to spend $50 dollars on a shirt now, but you might regret practicing these irresponsible money habits when you are on your own budget in college. Save now, and spend later!

 

 

 

Wanting to make a budget? Watch this video!

Jan 14

Media & Effects on Body Image

Posted By iamincontrol | January 14, 2016

The effect the media has on young adults is an important issue. It causes many teens to have serious problems with body dissatisfaction.  The media uses photo shopping in their ads, which can cause men and women to have a distorted view of what a body should look like. Many of the people that are in advertisements and are on television have bodies that are unrealistic. Not only does the media make women want to be really skinny or be pear-shaped but it also makes men feel like they need to be muscular and masculine looking.

Seeing images of models in TV commercials and advertisements has helped influence my perception of what I wanted my body to look like. I think that I am very kind and I have a good heart however, I am much more critical on my physical appearance. I started feeling this way in high school and I have since learned how to be more accepting of my physical appearance.  I wish I would have known in high school that there are ways to feel better about my appearance and people who can help! I found a counselor that helped me shape my negative thoughts about my body into positive ones. She also helped me find a nutritionist that helped me eat to fuel my body. There are so many resources for people who struggle with their body image like me. Find a counselor to talk to or even see a nutritionist that can help get you eating nutritious things for your body!

Try these 10 steps to a positive body image: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/10-steps-positive-body-image

Jan 12

The Freshman Fifteen

Posted By iamincontrol | January 12, 2016

You are beautifulWe’ve heard about it, we’ve seen it, we dread it, and try our best to avoid it; The Freshman Fifteen. One of the things that people talk about when high school graduates begin to head off to college is the chance of them gaining weight –fast!

During my freshman year I took 15 credits each semester and carried a job working 20 hours a week. I fell into unhealthy eating habits at the dining centers and could not find the time to go to the gym outside of my school and job. I stepped on the scale after my freshman year of college and I had gained fourteen pounds. I knew something had to change.

Four Tips to Avoid the Freshman Fifteen:

  1. Fit exercise in when you can! Working out doesn’t always mean hitting the gym! Walk to your classes, take the stairs, or even do some study break sit-ups!
  2. Fuel your body and your brain- not your stress! Pre-portion your study snacks. Stress eating in college can be done easily when you aren’t paying attention to how much you’re eating. Pre-portioning snacks is an easy way to get the nutrition you need but not to over indulge!
  3. Skip the Sugar Sweetened Beverages. Try an unsweetened green tea for an energy boost or some fruit infused water. Cutting out extra calories from soda and energy drinks can go a long way!
  4. Try something new! Switch up your cafeteria meals! Trade in your usual dish for the daily special of asparagus, black bean burgers, or veggie mix. The best thing is, if you don’t like it you can always grab something else!

Remember, embrace your body as it is and love yourself! It takes small steps to make big progress. Check out these tips to beat the freshman fifteen:

http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/weight-loss/eating-out/8-ways-to-beat-the-freshman-15.