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

Tag: healthy

Dec 30

New Year, Let the Resolutions begin: Top Ten News Years Resolutions for Teens

Posted By iamincontrol | December 30, 2014


The New Year is fast approaching and that means its time to think of your New Years Resolution. IAMinControl is coming at ya with a Top Ten New Years Resolutions to ease your way into the New Year.

Top Ten New Years Resolutions for Teens

Have a Good Relationship with My Body- Enjoy parts of your body and embrace what’s been given.

  1. Change my Attitude about Food-Treat food as something needed to nourish your body, so do those Cheetos® do the trick or that apple?
  2. Stay in touch- a 2010 study showed that if you don’t have a connection to social ties and they are broken you are more prone to mental health issues.
  3. Exercise More- We all know that exercise helps with our health but also makes us feel good about our selves.
  4. Volunteer- A 2010 study found that people with positive emotions (such as volunteering) were 20% less like to have a heart attack and were more resilient and resourceful
  5. Get more sleep-Lack of sleep causes your skin to age, forget things, gain weight, makes you dumber.
  6. Set goals for ourselves- It’s easy to accomplish things when we have goals. It’s also meta to set goals as your new years resolution. Right?
  7. Have more confidence-join a group at school, ask someone to hang out, make more friends
  8. Cut toxic people out of my life- Negative people can bring you down, identify if they are needed in your life. Parents do NOT count.
  9. Spend less time on Twitter, Instagram, and Kik-Studies show that increase time on social media can lead to depression and other things 

     

    Now its time for you to decide, but let us know what you do decide. Our poll next month will ask:

     

    Does your New Years Resolution involve?

  1.  Nutrition (Cut back on drinking energy drinks and/or soda,  Eat less Cheetos, etc)
  2. Body Image (be happy when I look in the mirror, embrace my love handles, etc.)
  3. Mental Health (smile more, look up Classic Joke Wednesday on Ellen and share them, etc.)
  4. Exercise (Dance around to “Shake it Off” by T. Swift for thirty minutes a day)
  5. Sexual Health (Find out about different contraceptives, figure out how to use a condom)
  6. Life Skills  (Start a savings, embrace my haters, etc )
Dec 25

Going to the Gyno

Posted By iamincontrol | December 25, 2014

Winter break is almost here! That means no school, Christmas presents, and…lying on your back in a doctor’s office with your legs in stirrups??

Although it won’t be the most fun thing you could do in your time off from school, winter break is a great time to get in to see a gynecologist (or ‘gyno’ for short, like ‘guy-no’) for the first time. If your town or area doesn’t have a gynecologist or women’s doctor, don’t worry—most general family doctors and healthcare workers can do these exams, too! Doctors recommend that girls get in for their first check between 13-15 years old if sexual active. But you do not need a pelvic exam to receive birth control. If you haven’t already gone in, ask your parent about setting up an appointment over the holiday break.

It depends on the doctor, but most of the first visit will just be talking—about topics like sexuality, birth control, periods, and STDs, to start. The doctor or nurse will also probably do a short physical exam to make sure everything’s okay.

Remember that gynecologists go to school for a long time to specialize in women’s health—and that means women of all ages! So don’t be afraid to ask questions. They are there to help you!

For more information about what to expect during your first gynecologist’s visit, check out http://teens.webmd.com/girls-puberty-10/gynecologist-visit.


 

Dec 16

Red Bulls® on Monsters® On Red Bulls®: Filling UP your tank with other things.

Posted By iamincontrol | December 16, 2014

Red Bull-gives you wings®? Monster-Unleash the Beast®? These are some of the slogans that the energy of the energy drinks use to their drinkers. Energy drink consumption has increased over the years especially among teens. But more and more information is coming out about its effects. These “uplifting” drinks are actually linked to depression. So, when they say it is bringing you up, FALSE ADVERTISING. According to Poison Control, in three months June-August 2014, over 700 cases of energy overdose occurred in teens—that’s a whole lot.

Here’s what one person had to say about their need for caffeine:

“What I soon began to notice is that when I actually ate my fruits and vegetables, I had a lot more energy than when I grabbed chips and dip with pop. Looking back I never figured out why the vegetables worked better than the pop; we all know that pop contains caffeine and that should give us energy, right? Wrong! The nutrients in fruits and vegetables are so important for endurance, performance, and stamina. Turns out everything I thought Gatorade was doing for my recovery, fruits and vegetables actually do. Too bad no one tells us this in commercials or something we see every day, otherwise I probably would have paid attention more to what I was eating.” -Danielle

Five servings of fruits and vegetables is the recommendation. That may seem like a lot, but there are so many ways to sneak in all kinds without even noticing. Homemade fruit smoothies jam-packed with as many fruits and vegetables you can fit could satisfy the guideline in just one meal. When mixed with everything else, you might not even notice you are eating them. So next time you go for that Red Bull®, think twice about what it is actually doing, it’s not giving you wings.

Dec 11

Don’t Be S.A.D. this winter!

Posted By iamincontrol | December 11, 2014

Sad. Isn’t that how we all feel to some extent during the winter, as the days get shorter and shorter? As we keep adding layers of clothing to leave the house, and spend as little time outside in the frigid cold as possible?

But being ‘SAD’ is a different story than just being lower-case sad. SAD stands for ‘seasonal affective disorder,’ a type of temporary depression that occurs during specific times of the year—most commonly in the fall and winter. It is estimated that 10-20% of people in the United States experience SAD each year and that it is more common in females.

Although many people—especially in northern parts of the U.S. like Iowa, where the winters are long and cold– get the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder hits a little harder. Symptoms of SAD include drops in energy, weight gain, sleeping a lot more than usual, and not wanting to be social.

The following are tips adapted from the Huffington Post to help combat SAD. These suggestions can help anyone feeling a little blue in the winter—but if you are feeling depressed, don’t be afraid see a doctor or counselor about your symptoms.

  • Get outside. Yes, even though it’s cold, try to get outside at lunch, open period, or after school. Natural sunlight will improve your mood, and since the days are so short during the winter, it’s important to grab the sun while you can during the day!
  • Get moving! As Michelle Obama says, ‘Let’s move!’  Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that will naturally increase your mood. It’s also a good way to burn stress, and if you’re exercising in a gym or as part of a sports team or club, it provides social time– which also helps with depression.
  • Get social. Especially during the Thanksgiving and winter breaks, when school is out and it’s tempting to sit around at home and watch Netflix, try to get out of the house. Go to a movie or dinner with friends. It will help to get you out of a funk.
  • Sleep well. Although it may be hard to wake up every morning in the darkness, or to stay awake after school when the sun is already setting, resist the temptation to sleep late or nap throughout the day. Sleeping more than you usually do will only make you feel more sluggish and tired overall.
  • Be patient. Winter in Iowa is long, and fighting SAD may take time– but embrace the activities and people who make you feel better. It will pay off in the long run. If your symptoms do not improve, don’t be afraid to seek professional help—SAD, like depression, is a real disorder and can be treated!

 

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 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.

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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Aug 7

Avoiding Alcohol

Posted By iamincontrol | August 7, 2014

avoiding alcohol
By Anonymous

I don’t remember exactly when it started, but I think it was in 8th grade – the day that alcohol joined my friend group. I remember feeling shocked when I first found out that some of my friends had started to drink. At first it wasn’t very many of them, and we were able to maintain our friendships despite our differences. Then we got to high school, and everything went downhill quickly.

My friends started slipping under the control of alcohol. By the time we were sophomores, the majority of my friends, both guys and girls, were drinking almost every weekend. I didn’t approve of their choices, but I tried to maintain the friendships. However, it was really difficult to do that when I couldn’t hang out with them on the weekends, unless I wanted to drink. Slowly, they began to dislike me because I wouldn’t succumb to their peer pressure. I was different, and we all knew it.

By the end of my sophomore year, I was isolated from the group. I spent the remainder of my high school weekends with a much smaller group of friends going to dinner, movies, shopping, or having bonfires or sleepovers. They were all activities that were free from drinking, and we still had tons of fun!

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