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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!
Sep 18

Positive Talk

Posted By iamincontrol | September 18, 2018

Sep 13

What You Say Matters

Posted By iamincontrol | September 13, 2018

Bullied teenage girlLanguage that singles people out makes it difficult to make connections with others. Try putting yourself into another person’s shoes to help you think about how to use welcoming language. Using broader language so can help people feel included. Here are some tips to make your language more inclusive:

  • Use gender-neutral terms like “people” instead of gendered words like “mankind”
  • You can use “they” to refer to someone whose gender you don’t know
  • Avoid saying things that are stereotypical
  • If you’re talking about a group of people, don’t generalize about a whole group. For example, women in one country may have a different experience than women in another based on the culture and politics.
  • When talking about a person who has an illness or disorder, it’s generally better to say “person with ____” instead of “____ person”

Using these tips can help you be more inclusive with your language and make others feel more accepted. Learn what inclusive language means to others in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=659BGpNCQMc

Sep 11

When “Just One” Cigarette Becomes More Than One

Posted By iamincontrol | September 11, 2018

Hand chained to cigarettesYou probably know that smoking is bad for you, but what is the chance that you’ll get hooked on smoking? A study found that more than 2 out of 3 people who tried a single cigarette became daily smokers for a while. This tells us that even smoking one cigarette each day can have negative health effects. Another study found that people who smoked less than one cigarette each day over their entire lives were 64% more likely to die early than people who never smoked.

A study looked at the differences between men and women who smoked 1 cigarette each day and those who didn’t. It concluded that:

  • Men had a 48% higher risk of heart disease
  • Women had a 57% higher risk of heart disease.

To read more about the health impacts on smoking, check out this link: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/smoking.html

Sep 6

Depression Can Impact Anyone

Posted By iamincontrol | September 6, 2018

Depression is a mental health issue. Being sad, hopeless, having low energy and headaches are just a few symptoms that people with depression consistently face. Depression can hit someone at any age. There are also different kinds of depressions that can impact a person’s life:

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder
  • Perinatal Depression
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder

I am living with seasonal affective disorder and it is hard. Going from being social and full of energy to barely able to get out of bed. I am not the only one that deals with depression in my family. My mother deals with it year round, but takes medication to help with the symptoms. Depression exists and it can impact anyone at any time. People need to be aware that it is an illness that needs to be taken seriously.

Learn the difference between sadness and depression, plus more, here: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/depression.html

Sep 4

Loving the Person in the Mirror

Posted By iamincontrol | September 4, 2018

Teen girl unhappy with appearanceIn the morning I see my reflection in the mirror and question “what in the world am I looking at?!” It is very common for people to feel this way and you are not alone. Being perfect is what society today wants us to be, but let’s be honest, that is not going to happen. We are all beautiful in our own way.

Finding that beauty within ourselves is the difficult part though. There are a few different ways that you can have confidence when looking into that reflection.

  • Look at yourself and SMILE. The most beautiful attribute any person has is their smile.
  • Own that crazy bedhead or messy bun that you have going on. Everyone wakes up like that. It’s gorgeous!
  • Compliment yourself on the things that you like the most about yourself. Having confidence is key.

Always remember, no matter what your mind tries to convince you at times: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Check out these tips on how to feel better about yourself: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emotional-fitness/201103/10-ways-feel-better-about-yourself

Aug 30

What is Labor Day?

Posted By iamincontrol | August 30, 2018

Almost 200 years ago, workers were putting in 60 and 70 hours over 7 days a week! Many workers were very unhappy with that and they worked hard to make their work time shorter. If you have ever wondered how standard 9-5 work hours 5 days a week began, now you know! Once the work days and weeks were shortened, people were able to spend their free time on traveling, entertainment, and eating out.

States started the holiday to celebrate this great achievement. In 1894, Congress made it a holiday. It is dedicated to American workers and their efforts since the country began. If you, your family, and friends have the day off, celebrate the many milestones the United States has achieved and what we hope to do in the future.

Check out this link for more info: https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

Aug 28

5-2-1-0: Four Numbers to Stay Healthy

Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2018

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count helps you keep in mind how to be and stay healthy.

These numbers stand for:

  • 5  – or more fruits and vegetables
  • 2  – hours or less of screen time
  • 1 – hour or more of physical activity
  • 0 – sugary drinks (more water)

We often see diet and exercise information all around us, but it can get confusing. How many fruits and vegetables are best? How much physical activity should I get? When should I turn off the TV? The 5-2-1-0 messaging helps people understand what they can do to achieve a healthy lifestyle to reduce obesity.

We know that treating your body negatively can cause weight gain. Gaining a lot of weight can cause serious health issues like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. By remembering what to eat, what not to eat, and when to get up and get moving, we can reduce our chances of gaining weight. Encourage your friends and family to live by this message too!

Check out this post from a dietician who loves the 5-2-1-0 For Healthy Kids messaging! https://www.huffingtonpost.com/amy-pleimling/5210-for-everyone_b_6672034.html

Aug 23

Why Eating Lots of Fruits, Veggies, & Fiber is Good for You

Posted By iamincontrol | August 23, 2018

Fruits and vegetables are important parts of a well-balanced diet and give you a lot of nutrients. Along with whole grains, fruits and vegetables are also a good source of fiber. Fiber is another nutrient that many people don’t eat enough of. On average, Americans eat about 16 grams of fiber, even though the recommended amount is 25 to 30 grams. Eating more fruits and vegetables is an easy way to get more fiber.

Eating more fiber has health benefits. One study compared two groups of people on different diets. The first group followed all of the rules of the American Heart Association’s diet plan. The other group was told just to eat more fiber. The group that followed the American Heart Association diet lost 6 pounds. However, without much effort, the group that followed only the fiber rule still lost 4 pounds. This means that eating more fiber, like fruits and vegetables, can be a useful way to eat healthier.

To read more about having a balanced diet, check out this link: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/take-charge-health-guide-teenagers

Aug 21

What to do When a Friend Comes out of the Closet to You

Posted By iamincontrol | August 21, 2018

Coming out of the closet is the term for when someone:

  1. Accepts and identifies with their gender identity and/or sexual orientation
  2. Willingly shares their identity with others

For most coming out is a series of decisions LGBTQ people make. A choice to come out to a person means that person feels safe, comfortable and trust you.   People may be “out” in some spaces or with certain people, and “in” with others and it’s important for you respect that.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts if a friend comes out to you.

Don’t:

  1. Say “I always knew,” or downplay the significance of their sharing with you. It was a very important and probably difficult decision to share this with you.
  2. Forget that they are still the person you knew, befriended, or loved before.
  3. Cross personal-lines you wouldn’t have crossed earlier.
  4. Assume you know why they came out to you.

Do:

  1. Know this is a sign of huge trust! (Yay!)
  2. Check how confidential information this is. Ask things like “do other people know?” or “is this a secret?”
  3. Remember that their gender/sexuality is just one part of who they are.
  4. Ask them how you can best support them.

For more information check out https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/coming-out.html

Aug 16

Bullying: No Trivial Thing

Posted By iamincontrol | August 16, 2018

About 28% of students ages 12-18 are bullied in a school year. It’s reported that 70.6% of students say they have bullying in their schools.

Anyone can be bullied

Bullying can result in…

  • school attendance issues
  • reduced appetite
  • anxiety
  • aggression
  • depression
  • withdrawal from friends
  • suicide

My experience

My little sister was a freshman in high school. She was a bigger girl so sometimes kids were mean to her and would pick on her. She got so sick of it she had started contemplating suicide because of it. I am thankful someone knew about it and said something to the school counselor or my little sister may not be here today.

For more information on what you can do, visit: https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-you-can-do/teens/index.html