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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 26

That’s SOO Awkward: Talking to Your Parents (Or Trusted Adult) About Sex

Posted By iamincontrol | February 26, 2015

If you think talking with your parents about sex is awkward, think again. My mother was my sexual health teachshutterstock_177060569er. That’s right, when I went through sexual education, my mother was the one showing the pictures of different Sexually Transmitted Infections and telling me how to us a condom. It was mortifying, when my fellow teammates, classmates, and peers would tell me about the questions they asked my mother.

I dreaded the semester I had to step into my mother’s classroom to be one of her sexual health students. But it just so happens that talking and being open with my mother about sex was very beneficial. My mother is a wealth of knowledge about sex and my body. While my mother is an expert on sexual health, your parents may not be; but I bet they have good advice to pass on about values and putting things into perspective. So many of you may be wondering– how do you bring up sex to your parents, because you may want them to know or you may need to seek medical attention for something with sexual health. Well, here are my Top Three Things to Think about Before Talking to Your Parents:

  1. Teenagers at One Time: Think about it your parents were teenagers at one time too. They can give you a lot of advice about sexual relationships. They probably have gone through something similar.
  2. Admit Your Nerves: Your parents know that it is a hard conversation. Start with something like, “ Mom or Dad, this is something that isn’t easy for me to ask you about”
  3. Think about What You Want to Say: Go through what you want to say and how you want to start the conversation. Start with something along the lines. “Mom/Dad, did you ever feel pressured to have sex?”, “Mom/Dad, when you were my age were you curious about sex?” Make sure to pick a location that can get your parents full attention, like home.

By thinking about these tips, you’ll be off to a good start. If the conversation doesn’t go as expected or you don’t think it would be a good idea to talk to your parents, you could find another person you trust- aunt, doctor, friend’s mother or school nurse. Yes, it’s a nerve-wracking experience, but it is worth it.

Feb 24

Re-Evaluating Your Friendships

Posted By iamincontrol | February 24, 2015

Juggling friendships is hard—especially in high school, when you are surrounded by your friends all day and often ishutterstock_221059867nto the night. Having good friends is essential—what fun is life without people to share it with??

However, not all friendships are the same—and some can be toxic. It can be really easy to get stuck in a friendship rut. Toxic friends can be like bad habits—hard to quit and even harder to stay away from.

Signs of a toxic friend are:

  • Good friends are genuinely happy for you when something exciting happens in your life. A toxic friend will dismiss your achievements, try to make you feel undeserving, or steal your spotlight with a triumph of their own.
  • Toxic friends are never at fault for anything. A good friend will admit to being wrong—a toxic friend will try to shift the blame anywhere but themselves.
  • A toxic friend will make you feel judged. A true friend will be honest if he/she thinks you are making a mistake, but will nevertheless celebrate who you are—whether that means your style, or sense of humor, or interests and hobbies. Have you ever felt someone looking you up and down in public with their eyes like, ‘what is that outfit about??’ A toxic friend will make you feel like that a lot of the time.
  • If you find yourself trying too hard to justify the friendship—that might be a sign it’s not a good one. For instance, if you find yourself saying to yourself “But I’ve known her forever…” as a reason to keep the friendship alive—that’s not a good enough reason!!

Take the new year as a chance to re-evaluate those questionable friendships in your life—is this a friend you really you want to share your time with, or are they just toxic?

For more information on how to deal with toxic or unhealthy friendships, take a look at the following links:

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/healthy-vs-unhealthy-relationships

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/my-friend-relentlessly-competes-me-and-i-want-it-stop

http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/dont-know-if-i-want-my-friend-back-or-not

 

Feb 19

Study Skillz

Posted By iamincontrol | February 19, 2015

Sometimes it’s especially hard to concentrate on school in the spring semester. Maybe you’re a little burnt out orshutterstock_113008852 distracted by this time of the year. Spring is just around the corner, you’re trying to figure out your plans for the summer, and the gloomy February weather outside doesn’t help either.

Getting in the zone for school can be easy, though. Like anything, if you make the experience a little more pleasant and give yourself something to look forward to, it will be easier to get it done.

  • First, make your study area that you enjoy using. Keeping your desk neat and organized is an easy way to start a study session off feeling good. I find myself motivated to concentrate by surrounding my desk at home with pictures of friends, family, and travels as a reminder that getting my work done efficiently means more time to enjoy life. Some people frame inspirational quotes or messages. It’s all about what motivates you.
  • Along those lines, don’t underestimate the power of little things in your study surroundings to keep you focused. If you’re at home, small indulgences like lighting a candle or wearing your go-to pair of sweatpants can help. Or if you go to the library, bring your favorite coffee/tea/hot chocolate with you as an incentive to fight the cold and go out to get work done.
  • Get on Spotify or Pandora and put together a playlist that energizes you. Music can make a huge difference in your ability to focus on your work.
  • When I’m working on something or studying for an exam, I frequently use a 45-15 rule for study breaks. So I work/study for 45 minutes and then allow myself a 15-minute break to do whatever I want. Sometimes I just use that break to check texts or social media, but I find that the most effective way to use those 15 minutes is to get up from the desk and move around a little.

Click the link below for some more study tips:

https://cws.auburn.edu/shared/content/files/50/WISE_Study_Tips.pdf

 

Feb 17

Stall Chats: What Your Pee is Telling You

Posted By iamincontrol | February 17, 2015

Here is our second installment of stall chats. This time, we will tackle the world of urine. Just like poop, urine can tell us shutterstock_234591922a lot about our bodies. There is big difference between pee and poop; poop tells us more about what we ate, while pee tells us more about what we drank.

Again, there are three things we want to look at: shade, appearance, and smell of pee. The frequency of urination is dependent on how much you drank.  A common misconception is that if you drink caffeine it causes an increased urine output, this is not true. Here are things to pay attention to:

50 Shades of Pee The clearer the pee, the better. When your pee is dark yellow, you are close to dehydration. If it is dark yellow, you should consume water.

Pee Problems If the pee is murky or cloudy this is a sign of a possible Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). Foamy pee is complete normal and could just mean you have a large amount of protein. Other variations of concern are red, this usually means there is blood in the urine and you should seek medical advice.

Smell Some foods may make your pee smell bad (asparagus), but so can a UTI or STI. Lastly, if your pee smells sweet, please seek medical advice, it could be a sign of diabetes.

Here’s your second installment of why what happens in the stall can tell you a little more about your health. Allow your body to tell you about its health.

 

Feb 12

Leave the Labels for the Grocery Store

Posted By iamincontrol | February 12, 2015

My school is SO full of labels. For instance, I am on the football and basketball team, so automatically I am thought oshutterstock_133532261f as being a jock. And, jocks are supposed to be bad at school, dumb, and uninterested in things like the arts. But, I have this other side of me that loves to sing and act. I love the arts. But, I have to fit that stereotype or people will be all upset.

Labels are really challenging for all of us. They put us in a box and don’t allow us to freely be ourselves. They have no place, but the grocery store. Foods, that have labels, help us know what we are about to eat. Also, they give us facts about what the foods contain: sugars, carbs, protein, etc. But, is that type of label needed for a person? People are much more than that; they are constantly changing and evolving into something new. Especially, when we are at this age.

So, when you hear someone use a label or try to tell someone that they can’t act a certain way. Please do me a favor; you should gently remind them that labels are for the grocery store, and not for school. People are more than what we see or think they should act. So keep the labels to the grocery store. Follow the link for a great video: http://www.stopbullying.gov/videos/2014/03/labels-dont-define-you.html

Feb 10

Love Your Selfie: How Filters are Destroying You

Posted By iamincontrol | February 10, 2015

I am addicted to Instagram! Every morning without fail, I pull out my phone and flip through everyone’s pictures. I alsoshutterstock_204448075 love to post pictures of what food I am eating, things I saw throughout the day– but most of all, I love to post selfies.

Selfies are hard work, people. First, I have to make the light absolutely perfect and that can be hard in public places. Next, you have to make sure the background doesn’t have backlight and that it looks cool enough to deserve many likes. I don’t know about you; but for me it takes many shoots to get the perfect look. But, I haven’t even started picking a filter and that is a whole story in itself.

But all of this got me thinking the other day, what does this say about others and me? By being so self-obsessed with the lighting, how I look on Instagram, how I look to others, am I saying that it is okay for others to only judge me by my appearance? I am more than my Instagram account. I am a person behind my photos. So I am taking on a challenge and I challenge YOU to. To Love your Selfie. This means that I will take photos of everything: my successes and challenges. I will embrace my flaws in my personality and appearance, but I will also recognize my good qualities as well. I will love my selfies that lack perfect lighting or perfect filters. It will take courage, but I can do it.

Feb 5

Up and Then Down: The Roller Coaster of Drugs

Posted By iamincontrol | February 5, 2015

In Iowa, winter is so cold. Many people stay inside. The days are long and grey. You may feel depressed or tired. It may shutterstock_211862647be tempting to experiment with new things. Like drugs.

Taking drugs can give you a high for a short time, especially drugs that are stimulants. Peers who have tried these drugs may say they give you a rush. They even might seem safe, because some of these drugs come with a prescription.

 

That high comes at a cost. A steep cost. Coming down off a stimulant drug will make you crash. You may feel depressed and so tired. You might crave the drug again, to make you feel high again. You need more and more to feel good.

 

This is how addiction starts. Try to chase the dragon and you might get bitten. It’s all up until it’s down.

 

The best thing is not to start in the first place. Find that high somewhere else. Go for a jog. Connect with a friend.

 

Here are some websites about why not to do stimulant drugs:

http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/prescription-stimulant-medications-amphetamines

Feb 4

Three Super Bowl Ads That Got Me Thinking and They Should Get You Thinking Too

Posted By iamincontrol | February 4, 2015

shutterstock_21541351Did anyone notice the inspirational and mushy feel of the Super Bowl ads? Usually I laugh at the commercials, but this year I was sick. Like the poor puppy in that one ad, which got lost and had to fight off wolfs, he/she was so cute. But, so sweet I think I got a tooth ache. Anyways, there were some ads that got my attention and made me think. Take a look at these three ads:

  1. Coca-Cola© http://www.superbowlcommercial2015.com/coca-cola/ : This ad reminds us that a real person exists behind the hateful comments that we write sometimes. It calls on us to send encouragement instead of hate.
  2. #LikeAGirl Campaign: http://www.always.com/en-us/likeagirl.aspx : Stereotypes should not rule our thoughts of others or allow gender to be put into a box. People should be allowed to express themselves in any way.
  3. No More Campaign: http://nomore.org/learn-more/ : This was the first Super Bowl ad that tackles domestic violence and sexual assault. This ad tells us the story of the difficulty of getting out of an abusive relationships, and asks us to speak out if we see a domestic abuse or sexual assault case. Here is more information about the campaign: http://site.nomore.org/

The Super Bowl Ads, at first look, had a heavy and sober feel to them. With hateful messages and violence common, our world needs to stop and think. You can make them uncommon by going to campaigns like “No More” to sign a pledge or sending an encouraging text to a friend or family. These actions are simple but powerful.

Feb 3

3 Ways to keep your New Year’s Resolution

Posted By iamincontrol | February 3, 2015

The Results from the Poll are IN!

What Does Your New Years Resolution Involve?

  1. Nutrition (36%)
  2. Body Image (15%)
  3. Exercise (10%)
  4. Sexual Health (15%)
  5. Life Skills (5%)
  6. Social Circle (10%)

Regardless of your new years resolution, it is hard to keep your resolution. “New Year, New Me,” rigshutterstock_162526487ht? Not as easy as we think, it is very easy to jump back into our old habits. But here are three ways to remind yourself of your resolution:

  1. Easy Reminders: I don’t know about you, but I have to be constantly reminded of my resolution. Set an alert on your phone for every day; leave a little note by the light switch in your room; make a sticky note for your locker at school. These will help you remember to complete your resolution.
  2. Tell a Friend: Tell a friend about your resolution or have a friend join in, so that you are both able to check in and challenge each other.
  3. Make it a routine: If your resolution quickly becomes part of your day-to-day, you are less likely to fail.

If you use these tips, you are likely to succeed in your resolution. Best of luck!

Jan 29

5 Ways to Rock Being Single on Valentine’s Day

Posted By iamincontrol | January 29, 2015

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s that time of year when roses abound, candy in heart shapes is the norm, and everyone seems to be in love. I mean like EVERYONE! And sometimes it becomes really annoying when you are single. But you can hate on it, or embrace it, always choose to embrace. IAMinControl is here to give you some ideas to get past this Hallmark-inspired holiday without all a “single” stress.

  1. TV Series Marathon: One of my favorite Valentines was getting together with a big group of friends and binge watching a TV series on Netflix, while devouring our favorite foods. We avoided the couples all tshutterstock_92925673ogether.
  2. Throw an Anti-Valentines Day Party: Many people are having anti-valentine parties for those that are single to avoid the day all together. Make a fun play list complete with “Ridin’ Solo” by Jason Derulo.
  3. Make Valentines for all your friends and hand them out: Who said your valentine had to be your love? Make your friends your valentines.
  4. Make YOURSELF, your valentine: Treat yourself on Valentine’s Day, spend the day doing what you wanted to do and pamper yourself. YOU get to celebrate it the way YOU want to.
  5. Spend time with your grandparent or parent: I’m sure one of your grandparents or parents would LOVE to have you as their Valentine. Play their favorite board game. Best part of this, you don’t have to pay for anything.

While Valentine’s Day can be lame for those of us that are single, it doesn’t have to be. It can be fun and an exciting day for all.