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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Dec 9

On this Holiday Season: Change Your Relationships with our Body

Posted By iamincontrol | December 9, 2014

It’s finally the holiday season—-YES!! Just give me that Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Cookies, and Candy Canes. I eat just as much as the next person. AND then, New Years Eve hits and say good-bye to the last two months of over indulgences. But recently, I’ve been on this new kick that I suggest we all move to. As you think about those news years’ resolutions, I know many will jump to create a resolution about their body or weight. And it is great to have goals.

            But rather than changing our weight, we need to start creating a relationship with our body. Our body has needs just like everything: it wants attention, nutrients, and exercise. We have to create a relationship with our body. One that treats it with respect by identifying what types of attention it needs. One that gives it foods that help it feel good like vegetables and proteins, rather than sugars and fats that make us feel lousy.  One that moves it to feel better. So this is my new years resolution: To listen to my body and treat it with respect.

Listen to what Gina has to say about this:

“As a kid I was always told I was “big boned.” In grade school, I towered over my peers year after year and even now nothing has really changed—except my weight. At any given point in my life I would have never consider myself “thin” or “skinny,” I was never built to be that way. However, in middle school I gained a lot of weight. Clinically, I was considered obese. Emotionally, I wasn’t happy. Even at such a young age, I realized that I needed to lose weight for my health and my well-being.

Over the course of the next year, I lost weight with the support of my mom and helpful weight-loss programs. I lost the weight slowly and began exercising and learning to eat right.  That was about 10 years ago, and my journey hasn’t ended. I’m still tall, and I’m still big boned, but I’m healthy—and I love my body. I’m still not “thin” or “skinny,” but I feed my body right and try my best to be physically active. All bodies are different; some are thin; some are tall; others are wide; and some are short. As humans we aren’t all made to look the same, but our body’s all deserve mutual respect. With all of the messages out there that are telling us how we need to look, it can be hard to focus on how our bodies make us feel. We will all have days when we aren’t feeling 100% confident in our own skin. But, what’s important is that we do our best to be healthy and treat our body’s right, no matter what the size. “

By Gina

Dec 4

A New Allergy

Posted By iamincontrol | December 4, 2014

What’s up with all these allergies? Gluten-free stuff? I mean they just seem to be popping up everywhere. I understand people have allergies and we don’t want people falling over, because they got some their allergen on them. But what about those of us who have a religious relationship with that allergen. What are we suppose to do? So because of that, I am starting a new allergy. I am officially allergic to bad decisions. One of the bad decisions that exist is consuming alcohol or over consuming alcohol. Alcohol consumption can lead to a lot of different bad decisions that I am allergic to, drunk driving, non-consensual sex,  suspension from school activities, etc.


And when I was in high school and college, alcohol consumption sometimes seemed like the norm. Some students feel they need to keep up just to fit in. I don’t want to stand out; I want to blend in with everyone else. That’s how I felt until I realized that there were other things to do besides drinking, that drinking is not the norm. According to a recent study at the University of Iowa, the drinking rate has fallen by nearly twenty percent in the last five years. So, I was being pressured to think drinking was the norm, and being pressured to think that my alcohol consumption quantified my coolness. So I am starting this new allergy.


Soon some of you will be heading off to college and be faced with even more temptations of alcohol, listen to what one college student has to say:


“After a night of drinking, something needed to be done. It took me getting so far off track to realize that it is not who I am. I may live in a college town, but it’s actually not the norm at a college town. I am here for school and I need to be comfortable with myself. I am my own person and alcohol should never be the thing that defines me. For my success is not found on the fake norm of drinking, but rather the time I spend doing other things. Like, when I spend time with friends, find a new connection in a classroom, the feeling of working hard for an exam grade that comes back positive, or taking a leadership role in a school organization. Those are the moments you go to college for. “ –Jake


So if you could not offend my new allergy, that’d be great.



Dec 2

The Ebola Virus Can’t Get me Down…

Posted By iamincontrol | December 2, 2014

At the summer camp I attend, at morning chapel, the counselor will usually stand up and sing a song. For the last ten years, they used to call every song, “The Ebola Virus can’t get me down…” It was a joke because the virus had vanished for quite some time. That was until about a last year when the virus showed up in West Africa. Soon that title for all the chapel songs changed…

Our last month poll and the results are IN:

Are You Scared of Getting Ebola? 

No, not at all, I don’t think Ebola will affect me or anyone I know personally (56%)

A Little—But I think the Risk is Low (21%)

Yes, I Worry That Ebola Will Become an Epidemic in the US (26%)

Recently, an analysis of the Google analytics showed that Americans have lost interest in the virus. And our poll reflects that fact. But in the analysis they found two areas of search about the virus for Americans: treatment for the virus and how it is spread. IAMinControl is here to let you know these answers. For the virus to be spread, people have to have direct physical contact with body fluids like blood, saliva, stool, urine, sweat, etc. of an infected person. A person is not seen as contagious until they are showing symptoms or pretty much a fever, but has to have traveled to West Africa within the last 21 days. For treatment, there is no vaccine or medicine available for Ebola. Experimental vaccines and treatments for Ebola are being looked at. One treatment that has been used is transfusing the blood of a recovered Ebola victim into an infected individual. Here’s a CDC infographic about it!

Nov 27

Snapchat + Sexual Pics=Totally Basic: Five Things to Think About Before Clicking Send

Posted By iamincontrol | November 27, 2014

Think you know a lot about Snapchat? Well think again. I AM in Control is here to give you what you need to know about this popular app.

Here are some fun facts:

  • The app was originally called Picaboo in 2011, before it was quickly changed to Snapchat (Makes sense, it’s like playing virtual peekaboo with your little cousin or brother)
  • Snapchat has 100 million users, which send 400 million snaps a day! 40% of those users are just like you, and between the age 14-18
  • What is up with that weird ghost mascot? Actually, that thing has a name and its “Ghostface Chillah” from the early 2000’s rap group Wu-Tang Clan

While most of us are using the app to send funny selfies and things we see throughout our day, people are using this for other reasons as well. Some choose to bully via Snapchat, while others send an occasional sexual picture to that BAE (Before Anyone Else) from fourth period. But here’s a list of things to think about before sending those snaps:

  • Snappy is Leaky. Last month someone hacked into Snapchat’s server and stole nude photos that were being sent via the app. The hackers then decided to post these photos online. Earlier this year, another hacker got the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million users.
  • Snap. Send. Delete? Snapchat has admitted that images stay temporarily on their server and the user’s phone.
  • Screenshot Notification No More. There is a possibility that in future versions of Snapchat that there will be no notification of screenshot, so anyone can keep your pictures forever.
  • Found it. Companies make money by retrieving snaps for someone. So say a future college or parent wanted to view your snaps, these companies have got them covered.
  • Your Info=Money. By reading Snapchat’s privacy policy, you’ll find they are getting your basic information and sharing it with vendors, companies, and people of interest.

Snapchat is always changing, so this list could always change. But think twice before you send that snap, the person you are sending it to may not be the only one to view it.

This post will be our poll for the month of December– have you ever received a sext (including over Snapchat)?            

a.       No, I have never received a sext of any kind

b.      Yes, but just once or twice

c.       Yes—several times

Nov 26

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

Posted By iamincontrol | November 26, 2014


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:

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.

Read More

Nov 18

Turnip for what??

Posted By iamincontrol | November 18, 2014

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.