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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Questions, Answers and Resources for Teens

Use this resource for questions regarding your health, your relationships, your body and your sexuality.

While this site is informative, it is not a substitute for talking to your doctor, parents or other trusted adult.

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!
Nov 26

#It’sOnUs: Why is the President Taking Over the Silver Screen

Posted By iamincontrol | November 26, 2014

http://itsonus.org/#videos

 

Has anyone seen the commercial called “It’s on Us”?! Where the camera shot focuses up close and over and over again on faces of celebrities and even the vice president and president. Well, since I wasn’t quite sure what they meant by all this “It’s On Us” stuff, I did some investigation.

 

The campaign is to help increase awareness about sexual assault in the US. In addition, they are encouraging people to no just stand around and let this happen, but to actually take a major role in stepping in or preventing it. They want everyone to sign a pledge that says this:

To recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.

To identify situations in which sexual assault may occur.

To intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.

To create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported

 

If you don’t think sexual assault is bad in your school, think again! These stats tell a different story: Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault– 1 in 3 females and 1 in 6 males are sexually assaulted before the age of eighteen. That means that if you took three times the population of adolescents in Iowa—that’s how many teens are getting sexually assaulted in the US. It’s time this got national coverage. It is on Us to reverse these statistics, starting with us. Please log on to Facebook and like the “It’s On Us” Page, Follow them on Twitter, and sign on to this website and sign the petition to end sexual assault: http://itsonus.org/#pledge.

Nov 25

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

Posted By iamincontrol | November 25, 2014

teenage friends
By Molly

You will find out who your true friends are when you are in high school. The friends that back you up and are on your side no matter what, those are your true friends. I struggled with finding my true friends. I went through the phase of wanting to hang out with all the popular girls from my class.  I soon became a part of their clique and all I worried about was what my plans were for the weekend. I began to be rude to my parents and flat out mean to anyone that tried to talk to me that wasn’t part of my ‘clique’. My three best friends that I grew up with noticed the change and didn’t like it. They told me that I was turning into a stuck up that would do anything to please my new friends.

I soon began to notice that my ‘new friends’ were actually rude to everyone. They didn’t care about the other people. They wanted to make fun of them and gossip. This showed me that I was better than that and that I should be nice to everyone. I stopped hanging out with them, and my parents and friends noticed me going back to how I was. You realize that your true friends will bring out the best in you. They will still support you no matter what decisions you make throughout your life.

You are in control of finding the right friends for you.

Nov 20

Dealing with Divorce

Posted By iamincontrol | November 20, 2014

sad teenage boy
By Kelsey

I was a sophomore in high school when my whole life got flipped upside down: divorce. This wasn’t the first time I have had to deal with divorce. My mom and dad got divorced when I was a baby, so by the time I was a teenager, I was used to the whole having to go to two Christmases, two Thanksgivings, and everything else that needed to be split up amongst my mother and father. My mom got remarried when I was in kindergarten, so I dealt with the transition of having a step-father and didn’t seem to mind it.

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Nov 18

Turnip for what??

Posted By iamincontrol | November 18, 2014

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/15/health/michelle-obama-turnip-vine/

I made an important resolution this summer (only 6 months or so after the New Year—it’s never too late, right?): stop eating like a child.

Remember the movie Elf? My food pyramid has always looked something like Buddy the Elf’s– only replace ‘candy corn’ with ‘candy corn plus lots of those disgusting candy corn pumpkins that start going on sale around Halloween.’ I eat marshmallows for breakfast and am never very far from a bag of my special mix of Twizzlers, pretzels, popcorn, and whatever else I can find in the candy drawer of my kitchen.

 

But I exercise! I drink lots of water! I brush my teeth between snacks! So eating a loaf of bread and a sleeve of Oreos for lunch every day is okay, right?

No. It’s not. It’s so gross!

After a medical crisis in my family this summer, I decided I wanted to take care of my body better. It was finally time to grow up– and ‘turnip.’

The following tips have helped me keep my resolution this fall. Now that I’m making the effort, it’s so much easier than I thought. These small, simple changes have had so many benefits— I can run longer, have fewer headaches, and when that 2 PM lull rolls around, I no longer feel like a nap (well, most of the time).

  • Look at your preferences– and adjust. I started by thinking hard about why I like what I like. For example, is it really candy corn and pretzels that I crave—or is it the act of snacking itself? I realized that if I replaced candy with small fruits or veggies like grapes, blueberries, or baby carrots, I was just as happy to munch away.
  • The 50% Rule. Making sure half of your lunch or dinner is made up of vegetables is an easy way to get in recommended servings. If you’re like me and love carbs like rice, bread, and pasta, mixing in some extra vegetables can be so simple. Add some frozen peas and broccoli to fried rice, or squash to your noodles. Turn that bowl of beige food into something colorful and Instagram-worthy!
  • Come prepared. Sometimes hunger strikes out of the blue. Keeping a healthy snack in your bag—like almonds, a granola bar, or an apple—as a back-up option can help you resist the temptation to buy something close and convenient, like chips and candy or fast food.
  • Be a mindful eater. I noticed that a lot of my extra snacking happened when I was distracted—like while watching TV or out with friends. Simply keeping that in mind was helpful. Before reaching for those chips and salsa or another slice of pizza, I try to ask myself, ‘am I actually hungry or am I just eating because it’s there?’ 
Nov 13

“It’s my body and it should be my choice”

Posted By iamincontrol | November 13, 2014

Just like the rest of America, I love Jennifer Lawrence. It is refreshing to see a female celebrity who comes off as funny, strong, and wonderfully flawed. Her appeal as a public figure and as a woman goes far beyond her sexuality—which is why the malicious nude photo leaks last month were so upsetting to millions of people.

In the comments sections of articles about the leaked photos, I saw some disturbing trends. By sending her partner these pictures in the first place, ‘she was asking for it’; many people were calling her horrible names. Other comments focused on picking apart her body, calling her ‘fat, ‘not so great.’

The sad thing is, sexual exploitation like this happens all the time—both to celebrities and to people like you and me. It seems like every few weeks over the last 3-4 years I’ve read a news story about sexting gone wrong, or leaked Snapchat photos. Why did it take a celebrity scandal to get the whole country talking about this as a form of bullying??

In typical fashion, J-Law came out and bluntly condemned those responsible for the leaks in addition to people who searched for and looked at the pictures.

“Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, does not mean that I asked for this,” she said. “It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can’t believe that we even live in that kind of world.”

The upside of these leaks is the dialogue it has sparked around this kind of ‘un-consensual pornography.’ For every nasty comment about Jennifer Lawrence’s body, I saw multiple defenders who called the leaks for what they were: cyber-bullying, sexual harassment, and a disturbing reminder of how fragile our privacy is in the age of the Internet.

Nov 11

I’m All About that Bass, No Six Pack

Posted By iamincontrol | November 11, 2014

5:30AM: BUUZZZ!! BUUUUZZZ!! BUUUUZZZ!! My alarm goes off with a growl as I roll over in my bed. The weights, my coach, and my football team are anticipating my gruffy arrival for morning practice. As I start my upright plank exercise, my coach left his perch in the corner with his arms crossed to pull me into the next room. My coach proceeded to chew me out for what he called my “lack of dedication towards the team.” Apparently, he did not feel like I was pushing myself in practices. It was 5:45 AM, I couldn’t even.

This is a scene familiar to many high school football players, even as the football season comes to a halt. I used to stand for hours in front of mirror: flexing, hoping, waiting for muscles to just morph and pop out of my stomach. Body image issues are for girls only, right?! WRONG! Body image affects guys, too– just in a different way. Many guys think they are either too small or too big, and need to have this big muscular body. But the more I lifted with my team, muscle did grow, but never big enough or in the right spots. I wanted to look like the guys in magazine ads and Sports Illustrated covers.

So, I started my quest for the six-pack. The summer was returning and my job as a lifeguard approaching; the only way I was willing to hit the pool was with a six pack. I hit the salad bar at school and told my mother I wasn’t hungry. I did more crunches in that month before the pool opening than I ever did in my life. But still on pool opening, there was no six-pack to show off. I had failed my quest. But when I looked around, no one that day had a six pack either. That day, I stepped up to the edge of the pool, dipped my toe in the refreshing water, decided to take my shirt off, and dove into that summer head first.

Nov 10

“I CAN SMELL YOUR SCENT FROM MILES” – WHAT DID ADAM LEVINE JUST SAY?

Posted By iamincontrol | November 10, 2014

Just like most of America, I am a huge fan of Maroon 5’s music.  When the Iowa State Fair announced, a few years ago, that Maroon 5 and Train would be a headliner in their concert series. I was sold and could be found near the front on the right side of the stage jamming to “Moves Like Jagger” and “Hey, Soul Sister.” The band’s front man, Adam Levine, has gotten a lot of attention lately for his marriage and role on the popular TV show, “The Voice.” But with the video above, I am starting to rethink my love for the band?

If you haven’t watched the video, the video displays Adam Levine stalking his wife in the grocery store, on the street, and even in her bedroom. In addition, the lead man is found taking photos of his “prey”. Lastly, Adam is displayed running around a cooler hugging shanks of meat and pour blood over himself. The video leads the viewer wondering—what is the point and why?

Is Adam just trying to show off his wife? Show off his abs? I am not sure. But one thing the video does is tries to “okay” stalking and turning people into pieces of meat to devour. Some people may say that this is art or not care, but what does this say about how we treat our boyfriends or girlfriends. What does this say about how we treat those that we care about? As a piece of meat, I want to never be thought of as that. Maybe Maroon 5 went for the shock factor; but before they sing lines like, “hunt you down, eat you alive”, they should think about turning people into a side of beef.

Nov 6

E-cigarettes or a Magical Harry Potter Wand?: A Deeper Look

Posted By iamincontrol | November 6, 2014

On my morning homage to the local coffee house, I noticed a man standing outside on the street with a strange looking mythical pencil. At first glance, I thought this man was carrying a wand from Diagon Alley ready to cast a spell on anyone who mis-stepped. But rather than raising his wand as I neared, he put the thing to his mouth, inhaled, and let out a puff of fog. What the what?! I realized that this man was actually smoking with what I now know as an e-cigarette. I had to find out more about these half-wand/half-electronic cigarettes!

So, there is a cartridge that contains nicotine and long chemical names like, glycerin or polyethylene glycol. Both these chemicals can be found in anti-freeze, which belong in cars– not human bodies. Basically, something heats the liquid in the cartridge (often called “e-juice”) to its boiling point and that becomes vapor you can inhale. That is why smoking e-cigarettes is often called “vaping.” Remember the cheesy fog machine you had at your homecoming dance this fall? It’s the same principle.

Still, what are the effects of such wands on Muggles like us? After a deeper look, the companies that put these e-cigs out do not even tell people what’s in the e-juice. So basically that gives us about the same knowledge as ripping off the label of your mother’s favorite bathroom cleaner and saying it’s e-juice.  In addition, in the first big study of e-cigs, researchers found out that e-cigs do not help people quit smoking and that the vapor has harmful effects on your lungs. So after a deeper look, e-cigs are indeed  magical wands made to cast a spell on people to ensure addiction to their harmful effects.

Nov 4

Putting Friends First

Posted By iamincontrol | November 4, 2014

teenage friends
The results are in! 

Last month we asked you guys:

Do you ever spend too much time with your boyfriend/girlfriend and forget to spend time with your friends?

You guys said:

  • Yeah. I want to spend as much time with my boyfriend/girlfriend as possible. (50%)
  • Sometimes that happens, but I try to make it up to my friends later. (33%)
  • Never!  My friends always come first. (16%)

It’s easy to get caught up in a relationship.  It’s exciting, and you might want to spend every waking hour with this person.  But remember that your friends and family are the ones who will be there for you if anything ever goes wrong.  Read how Hannah learned that below.

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Oct 30

Who to Talk to?

Posted By iamincontrol | October 30, 2014

teen with question mark
By Kayleen

Growing up is tough.  There are so many experiences and changes you face throughout middle and high school.  Some big changes that arise have to do with your sexual health.  (If you aren’t quite sure what we mean by “sexual health,” the Act Together For Youth page on What is Sexual Health? may be able to help.)

When you have a question about sexual health, where do you go?  The first thing you may do is pick up your phone or use your computer to look up the answer on the Internet.  The Internet does have a few reliable and helpful websites, but it is not always the same as talking to someone about your question.

Who is the person in your life that you can ask questions about sexual health?  Friends/peers may be the first people that you go to, but they may not be very knowledgeable on the subject. They may be wondering the same thing as you.  One of the best people you can talk to, besides a family physician or nurse, would be a parent or trusted adult in your life.  Some teens are already close to a parent or trusted adult and have established a relationship where open conversation is easy. That is a great relationship to have.  Other teens do not that have relationship with a parent or trusted adult at all, but it’s never too late to establish one.

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