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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!
Apr 16

Feeling Lazy

Posted By iamincontrol | April 16, 2015

shutterstock_148110578By: Anamarie

Are you told you are lazy? I recently read an article on Buzzfeed about the 21 signs you are lazy. I do have to say I am guilty of most of these. Teenagers are constantly labeled as lazy, making parents scratch their foreheads wondering why? Well being a little ‘lazy’ is normal and healthy for teenagers. We are learning to juggle schedules and learning how to prioritize, while most adults have already learned to do both. The teenage brain is still developing and our hormones affect our sleeping patterns, prompting us to stay up late and sleep longer in the morning. Of course, there are times where our laziness has gotten out of control and you may need to seek help. If you feel hopeless or extremely unmotivated, you may have depression, which may need to be looked at by a mental health profession. You can search for one in your area here: http://www.amhca.org/public_resources/find_counselor.aspx

Lastly, it’s important to stay active and get out of the house. According to the CDC, adolescents need at least thirty minutes or more of physical activity a day. Being a teenager is hard and I know how easy it is to just veg out after a long day, but don’t forget to stay motivated and be active.

Apr 14

5 Warning Signs of Suicide and What to Do

Posted By iamincontrol | April 14, 2015

Suicide is a serious matter and something not to take lightly. Some of you may have had friends who have had suicidal thoughts. And when that happensshutterstock_79104379, it can be hard to know where to turn. Also, it can be hard to know if your friend or family member is being serious. But it’s always better to take it seriously. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of correction, as my dad always says. Here are five warning signs and what you should do:

Warning Signs from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (http://www.yourlifeiowa.org/)

  1. Person is looking up ways to kill themselves. (Google searching, buying a gun, etc.)
  2. Person is giving away their things
  3. Person is talking about being a burden to others
  4. Person is talking about killing themselves
  5. Person has lost interest in things that used to interest them

What to Do

  1. Start by asking questions: Do you ever feel like just giving up? Are you thinking about dying?
  2. Encourage the person to talk to you and for them to seek help. If you know an adult you trust, tell them about the situation
  3. Lock up any guns, ammunition, or tools that one could use to commit suicide
  4. Studies have shown that individuals who watch media coverage of suicides increasing commit suicide. Try and limit the amount they do that.
  5. Seek Psychiatric Help, here are some examples: Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), Psychiatric hospital walk-in clinic, Hospital emergency room, Urgent care center/clinic, Call 911

Suicide is a serious matter and if you are struggling with something in your life right now. There are people out there that care about you. For more information: https://www.afsp.org/ and http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Apr 9

Fake Baking? 5 Reasons to Not Use a Tanning Bed

Posted By iamincontrol | April 9, 2015

shutterstock_88896964My first time in a tanning bed was freshman year of college. It was mid-October, and two friends and I were complaining about how pale we were right before Halloween. I remember looking down at my pasty arms—my summer glow was definitely long gone.

So off we went that week after class to a tanning salon near campus. The experience was so awful. You have to strip down and basically lie on a heated piece of glass for 20 minutes. The whole time I kept thinking about how many girls had been on that bed before me—so gross!!! By the end, I was sweaty and claustrophobic and just wanted to get out of there.

Later that day, I looked at my face in the mirror. What did I get for $15 and twenty minutes of torture?? No tan at all and a red, disgusting, peeling nose!

Not only is fake baking expensive and uncomfortable, it’s also really, really bad for you. So why do so many girls and guys continue to go tanning?? The following are some common myths about using a tanning bed debunked by the CDC (source: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/infographic.htm):

Myth: I have to get a tan to look good.

Truth: You should know your skin will pay a price! Fine lines and wrinkles, cataracts, sagging skin, and brown spots.

Myth: Only old people get cancer.

Truth: Young women are getting skin cancer more often. The risk is real! Melanoma—the deadliest kind—is the third most common cancer in people from 15 to 39. You can get melanoma in your eyes.

Myth: Having a good base tan will protect my skin from the sun.

Truth: A tan is a sign of damaged skin.

Myth: Tanning beds are a good way to get vitamin D.

Truth: Tanning beds are risky, and most people get enough vitamin D from food and sunlight during daily activities.

Myth: It’s only bad for your skin.

Truth: You can get more than a tan from a tanning bed! If the tanning bed isn’t clean, you could pick up a serious skin infection with symptoms like genital warts, skin rashes, skin warts, and flaky discolored patches on your skin.

Apr 7

Alcohol and Violence

Posted By iamincontrol | April 7, 2015

How many of you are a lover of comic book characters. While Batman is my all time favorite, the Hulk is weird and a little scary. To be honest, the Hshutterstock_35037478ulk has a lot of aggression and can be nasty and mean. Sometimes, individuals who have too much to drink can turn into a sort of “Hulk” character. In fact, did you know that 40% of crimes that occur have alcohol involved (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence).

 

That’s right, alcohol is a contributing factor to many violent behaviors. Based on reports, alcohol use by the person committing the crime was a factor in:

  • 37% of rapes and sexual assaults
  • 15% of robberies
  • 27% of aggravated assaults, and
  • 25% of simple assaults

 

Alcohol can transform someone into something they are not. They sometimes take action against people and things, when they typically would not. So if you know of a person like this, please help them out. If you feel like you become violent when you drink, please help those around you and yourself by getting help. Here are some resources from the Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center on how to help yourself and others: http://www.drugfreeinfo.org/alcohol/

Apr 2

Homework and Competing Priorities

Posted By iamincontrol | April 2, 2015

shutterstock_77979073The Poll Results are IN!

When do you do your homework?

  1. Right when I get home, get it out of the way. (Percent)
  2. Right after I relax a little bit and have supper, I will then sit down. (Percent)
  3. As late as possible, most of the time after 9 PM (Percent)

Overwhelmingly, everyone does their homework as late as possible. Why is that? Are you too busy until that time of day? Or are you just procrastinating? Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all the competing priorities of being a teen. You have schoolwork, but might have a job. You have your school activities and practice, but also time with family and maybe even a girlfriend or boyfriend. High school is a time to explore competing priorities and figure out your groove. Here are some tips to help you prioritize those priorities:

  1. Lists on Lists: First, create a list of all the things competing for your attention. Parents, Friends, Homework, Speech Practice, Swim Practice, Work, etc. Then rank them, what is more important to you. Then, make sure your time is being spent appropriately. Next, make a to-do-list every week of what you need to accomplish every day of the week. This will help you plan and attack the list. Here are some fun printable versions: http://www.howdoesshe.com/1-free-organizational-printables/
  2. Make the Most of your Time: When you are giving someone or something your time. Respect that and them. Put away your phone or other competing distractions and focus on what is in front of you. This will make your time more valuable.
  3. Make Yourself a Priority: Take time to recharge your battery and do things that make you feel good.

If you follow these tips, you soon won’t be doing homework after 9 PM, but rather have the quality time you will need to do, not everything, but what is a priority.

Mar 31

BABIES!!!

Posted By iamincontrol | March 31, 2015

BABIES!!

If you have ever watched ‘16 and Pregnant’ or ‘Teen Mom’ or even just babysat, you know that babies are a lot of work. Having a shutterstock_98870129baby when you are young may derail your other goals like getting on the team, graduating from high school, going to college, or getting your dream job.

Thinking about your reproductive life plan may help you prevent having a baby when you are not ready.

Reproductive life plan?

A reproductive life plan is a way for you to think about your goals. Write down your answers to these questions:

  • What are your goals for school?
  • What kind of job would you like to have?
  • What other goals are important to you?
  • Do you ever want to have children?
  • How would having a child fit in with your other goals?
  • When would you want to have kids?

 

Another important question to ask yourself is, what would happen if you found out you (or your partner) were pregnant?

Baby? No way!

When you don’t want to have a baby and are having sex there are many options to prevent pregnancy. Condoms are great because they prevent sexually transmitted infections, they are cheap, and you can get them anywhere. But it is good to have another back up to prevent pregnancy. There are a lot of birth control options so find one that fits into your life. Talk to a doctor or nurse about all the birth control options available.

Do you want more information on creating your reproductive life planning?

Visit this Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website http://www.cdc.gov/preconception/reproductiveplan.html

For more information on birth control visit http://www.plannedparenthood.org

Mar 24

Is that true? Finding answers to your health questions online

Posted By iamincontrol | March 24, 2015

Searching for health information on the Internet is super convenient. It’s fast, it’s available most places, and it might help you avoid askingshutterstock_193134332 your friends, parents, or doctor awkward questions. There are a lot of very trustworthy sites, but some are not. How do you tell the difference between a credible website and one that is not? Look for these three things:

  1. Look at who owns the site

This information may be right on the homepage or you may need to go to the “About Us” or “About this Site” link. Have you heard of this group? If you cannot find who runs site, you should probably keep find another site.

The site’s web address can also give you some information. Look at the end of the address.

  • .GOV – owned by a government agency
  • .EDU – owned by a school or university
  • .ORG – owned by a non-profit organization. Depending on who owns this site, their information could be trustworthy or it could have a bias.
  • .COM – for-profit companies and may be trying to sell you something
  1. Does the website have ads?

If it does, be cautious. The goal of the site might be to sell you something and may not be accurate.

  1. Has the site be updated lately?

A good health website will have a date of when the site was last updated or reviewed.

Some good sites to visit when you have health questions

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – www.cdc.gov

Office on Women’s Health – www.girlshealth.gov

Young Men’s Health from Boston Children’s Hospital – www.youngmenshealthsite.org

What about Wikipedia?

This answer is tricky…it depends. Wikipedia lets anyone post to it so it depends on who posted the information. The information should be cited. If it is not then don’t believe it. If it is go to the source it cited, and then use this checklist on that source.

What about Social Media?

What about sites and apps like 4Chan, Redditt, Yahoo! Answers, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter? Again, it depends who is writing it. If it is a reliable group with a reliable website then you can probably trust what they say. Otherwise, beware.

What if I am still not sure?

One thing you can do is check a few different sites. If they all say the same thing it is probably accurate. If you have any more questions or are still not sure, it is always best to talk to a doctor or nurse.

Mar 24

What your Gaming Avatars Say about you: 3 Tips for Making Friends

Posted By iamincontrol | March 24, 2015

shutterstock_220475623Wii Avatars are just creepy, don’t you think? The Mii (Wii Avatar) looks just like me: from my hair to my skin tone to even the uniqueness of my eyebrow. It strangely looks just like me—well, my appearance anyway. But I started to wonder– does the avatar actually show users some of my character and qualities?

A recent study actually answered that question. In that study, researchers found that an avatar actually tells users about different characteristics of their personality. AND, if you try to make the avatar not look like you, your personality STILL comes through to users. People were asked to rate avatars on five different personality traits. People correctly identified 3 of the 5 traits. What they found can help us understand how people view new potential friends.

From the study, use these three tips to make friends:

  1. Start with a smile: Researchers found that avatars that smiled were more likely to become friends with users. So start a conversation with a smile.
  2. Open Eyes, Open Heart: Without knowing it, in crowded rooms, we look at individual’s eyes for their intentions. Avatars that had open eyes appeared friendlier.
  3. Start with the Right Foot: Avatars that started with a conversation such as “Sup” or “Hey” were less likely to receive a response from someone. So use things like “Hello, how are you?” and quickly trying to find something in common, a favorite sports team, favorite class, or favorite TV series/movie.

Using these tips will get you off to a good start of becoming friends with someone, but keep in mind that people are far more complex in real life than in World of Warcraft. So remember that there is more to people than their outward appearance or avatar.

Mar 19

Stall Chats: Sweaty? What Sweat Can Tell you about your Body

Posted By iamincontrol | March 19, 2015

shutterstock_200018063I know it’s only March, but summer is right around the corner. I love summer; it is hands down one of my favorite seasons. From the weather, sun, no school, outdoor activities; you name it, I am a summer kind of guy. But with the summer comes hot weather, which means sweat. But sweat can tell us a lot about our health.

First off, what is in our sweat? There is water, salt, electrolytes and metabolic waste contained within the liquid. The average person sweats four gallons of fluid a day. Gross. But a foot alone can produce a cup of that sweat a day. Each person has 2-4 million sweat glands around their bodies. The number of sweat glands tells you how much you sweat. So if you have sweaty feet, you have a larger amount of sweat glands on your feet. Lastly, we sweat because it is the body’s way of cooling down the body after movement.

There are lots of things that cause us to sweat more. Alcohol, drugs and tobacco can cause you to sweat, as well as prescribed and illegal drugs. Furthermore, that greasy cheeseburger and fries cause you to sweat. But interestingly, sweat itself is odorless– it is actually the bacteria that are naturally on our skin that causes us to smell from sweating. So next time you go for a run or sweat a lot, make sure to replenish those things you lost with a drink of water or electrolytes in fruits and veggies. For more information on sweat: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sweat.html

Mar 17

What the Victoria Fashion Show taught me about loving my Body

Posted By iamincontrol | March 17, 2015

By: Amanda

Like any teenage girl throughout my high school and early college years, I struggled with body image. I always thought I was too fat ashutterstock_101952898nd I wanted to look like the supermodels and actresses. The best solution I could think of was to stop eating. If I wanted to get skinny, why would I eat? For a few years I lost weight, and when I was hungry I would chew gum and drink water to try and fill up. I would definitely consider myself anorexic, and I was well on my way to losing too much weight.

After a few years of this, I realized that I had a problem. I tried eating more and working out, so that I could be healthy instead of just skinny, but it was still really hard. What finally completely snapped me out of it was an article about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show of 2014 that one of my friends sent me. I never watch the fashion show, but I’ve seen the models and I see people writing all over Twitter and Facebook about how they wish they looked like that and how they are “never eating again.” After I read this article, I realized how much pain these models have to go through to get the body that they have. It just doesn’t seem worth it to be that skinny. Being healthy is more attractive than having your ribs and collarbones sticking out. The most meaningful quote from the article that I found was this:

“Love yourself enough to know that you are not the sum of what you look like. Spend time focusing on loving you for you, not trying to be another girl. You have a soul, you have dreams, and you have so much to offer the world – I truly don’t believe this show helps any woman remember that or know that more deeply in her spirit.”

I saved this quote in my phone, and whenever I’m feeling down about my body or myself I read it. It really helps me remember how important it is to be myself, and not compare myself to other women. I am who I am, and I should be very proud of that.

Here is the link to the article: http://lifeteen.com/self-esteem-victorias-secret-fashion-show/