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

Tag: healthy

Aug 5

Defying Gender Stereotypes: Muscles are Beautiful

Posted By iamincontrol | August 5, 2014

Girl lifting weights
The results are in!

Last month we asked you guys:

How often to do you see peers participate in activities that are not typical of their gender?

You said:

  • I see it all the time – there aren’t any activities that are “typically” for girls or boys anymore. (0%)
  • Sometimes (50%)
  • Hardly ever (25%)
  • Never (25%)

Here at IAMincontrol we think you should feel free to participate in any activity you enjoy, even if it may not seem “normal” for your gender.  We love Jessica’s take on this below!

By Jessica

I began weight lifting in high school. I did not participate in basketball like most girls, so to keep myself in shape I began using the weight room after school. Often I was the only girl in the weight room, surrounded by sweaty guys throwing weights around.  In order to better fit in with the guys, I began to lift heavier and more often. I saw that they accepted me more and were impressed by what I could do. However, a few girls in my grade commented on my arms or legs and said I was getting “too muscular.” I was proud of my achievements, but I didn’t want to look masculine because that is not what ladies look like. I continued to lift weights, but I focused less on large weights and more on repetition, which resulted in leaner muscles and the “toned” look that girls want.

While I still continue to lift and occasionally will lift heavier, this experience stayed with me and has stuck with me in current weight lifting practices. I’m glad that I started to lift because it led me to pursue an Exercise Science degree and teaching fitness classes. I wish I would have stood up to the girls who made fun of me then because I love my body, and I work hard for my muscles. Every body is different, and whether they have big or small muscles, they are beautiful.

Here’s a website to help when dealing with bullies and a Facebook page for girls embracing their muscles – check them out!

Jul 24

Nothing to Be Scared of: My First Planned Parenthood Visit

Posted By iamincontrol | July 24, 2014

Teen at doctor
By Tess

The first time I visited a Planned Parenthood center, I was 16 years old.  It was very nerve-racking, so I made sure to ask one of my good friends to tag along to support me.  It was very easy to make an appointment: I just picked up my phone.  Once I arrived at the center, I filled out a few forms, which is normal for first time patients.  They were mainly focused on my overall health and any sexual history.  We waited for a short period of time, and then I was called back into the room.  The nurse came in and asked me some questions regarding my forms that I had filled out and took my blood pressure and weight.  I waited for the doctor to come in and perform the examination.  The doctor was very nice and explained to me the process of the examination.  She completed the exam and then explained to me the many types of birth control available and what option she thought would be the best for me.  I chose the birth control pills because I felt that this would be my best option.  The doctor explained to me how to take the pills, when to start them, and the benefits and possible side effects from them.

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Jul 15

Try New Things

Posted By iamincontrol | July 15, 2014

Girl with soccer ball
By Anonymous

One of the most important parts of my high school career was athletics.  Throughout high school I participated in volleyball, soccer, and softball.  Volleyball and softball had been sports that I had played practically my whole life.  Soccer, on the other hand, I had never competitively played until my sophomore year in high school.  By the end of my three years of soccer I was so sad that it was over.  I had improved so much over that time and wished I could have played longer.  Soccer helped me make strong friendships and a strong body.  I have never been more in shape in my life than when I was out for soccer.

Athletics are a great way to stay in shape, make new friends and spend time with old ones, and also another way to stay out of trouble.  Even if athletics aren’t your forte, there are other high school groups that students can get involved with.  Athletics just have the added bonus of improving your fitness.  My experience also taught me it’s great to try new things because you may find out that you really enjoy it!

Visit this site for more information on extracurricular activities and how to find one that’ll be right for you.

You are in control of trying new things.

Jul 8

Don’t Forget the Sugary Cereal

Posted By iamincontrol | July 8, 2014

 Teen girl
By Laysa

When I was in 6th grade, I had my first and only boyfriend. We dated for like 8 days. It was very serious. A couple days after he broke up with me (in homeroom of all places!), we were at soccer practice, and some girls came up to me and said, “Joe broke up with you because you’re chubby.” I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. Later Joe came up to me and explained that he actually said he broke up with me because I was “pleasantly plump.” That wasn’t much better.

Either way, after that I was VERY aware of how I was bigger than the other girls. I also started to think twice when my stepdad told me not to eat my favorite sugary cereal because it was bad for me. But how could Cinnamon Toast Crunch be bad for me, when it made me feel so good? My mom, despite her good intentions, would try to get me to pick a bigger size in clothes. I never wanted that. I didn’t want to give up my favorite foods that all the other girls got to eat, and I didn’t want to wear an XL when all my friends wore smalls. How uncool would that have been?

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Jun 19

Celebrate your Individuality

Posted By iamincontrol | June 19, 2014

Teen girl
By Allison

During my middle school and high school years, I struggled a lot with self-image. I never felt truly accepted by my peers. I spent years trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I would ask myself questions such as:

“Am I wearing the wrong clothes?”

“Do I need to have a specific haircut?”

“Am I listening to the right music and keeping up with all the celebrities the girls in my class talk about?”

“What do I have to say for Johnny to ask me on a date?”

“Why doesn’t anyone ever want to be my partner for projects?”

“What is wrong with me?”

All of these thoughts led to an extremely low self-esteem. I wanted so desperately to be accepted and be invited to the parties that people talked about. Sometimes, I even wondered if any of my classmates would show up to my funeral if I were to die unexpectedly. I was trapped with these negative thoughts, trying constantly to change myself and “fit in.”  I would watch the “popular” girls and try to figure out how they gained acceptance. They often talked about cute boys and complained about teachers or their parents.

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Jun 17

Stress Relief through Exercise

Posted By iamincontrol | June 17, 2014

Teen girl running
By Alison

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.


Stress is commonly present amongst students. Throughout my years I have definitely been stressed to the max sometimes. Exercise is a great stress reliever for me. Growing up, I was always active in sports. Each season it was a new sport; it was go, go, go. Once I graduated high school, I was no longer on a team, but I knew that I wanted to continue being active.

In college I decided to sign up for a spinning class so I would remember to go. Eventually, I got a routine down, and exercise became a part of my daily life. In fact, on days when I did not do some sort of physical activity, I felt sort of grumpy. Later that spring, I began training for a half marathon. I have always been a runner, but I had never run 13.1 miles. After a couple months of training, I completed my first half marathon. It was a great accomplishment.

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Jun 5

Alcohol Free in High School

Posted By iamincontrol | June 5, 2014

Teenage friends
By Katie

Hi! My name is Katie, and I am going to talk about the pressure to drink alcohol as a teen. When I was in high school, the cool thing to do seemed to be drinking. All the older kids were doing it, and if you wanted to be cool, that’s what you were supposed to do. I’m here to tell you differently.

I never drank as a teen, and neither did any of my friends. I went to a small school, so I had a lot of friends, both boys and girls. We were all very close throughout high school, and I think that really helped us hold each other accountable. We always found things to do other than drinking on the weekends. We would go mini golfing, to the drive-in movie theater, down to the river to have a fire and hang out, giant games of hide and go seek around town or one of the parks in town, or even just a giant movie night at someone’s house.

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Jun 3

New Tobacco Products

Posted By iamincontrol | June 3, 2014

By Garin

The results are in!  Last month’s poll question was:

Which form of tobacco is used the most in your school?

You guys said:

  • Traditional cigarettes (33%)
  • E-cigarettes (0%)
  • Chewing tobacco (33%)
  • Other (i.e. cigars, Orbs, etc.) (0%)
  • No one uses tobacco, it’s pot (33%)

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. Putting smoke in your body isn’t a good idea no matter what’s burning. Sucking (chewing) on tobacco isn’t a great idea either. If you’re between 14 and 25, you also know that “Big Tobacco” is a bunch of companies that make tobacco, and they are big fat liars. They’ve lied to people for like a billion years so that people would smoke/chew, get addicted, and then the companies would make money. So what is Big Tobacco doing now to make their money? Let’s find out.

First, they are still selling cigarettes and chew. They may say now that tobacco isn’t safe, but they aren’t removing all their “killer” products from the shelves (just go down to your local gas station if you don’t believe me). What they’re doing now is trying to get you addicted to their ‘new’ products so they can continue to take your money. Let’s look at a few examples and see where the truth lies. Then you can decide for yourself if jumping into using tobacco is really as great as Big Tobacco says it is.

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Apr 15

5 Things to Love about the Farmer’s Market

Posted By iamincontrol | April 15, 2014

By Addie

Now that it’s springtime, I officially have my countdown ready for the first farmer’s market of the season. And it’s right around the corner! Below are some reasons for you to check out a local farmer’s market in your area this summer.

  1. Fresh (and local) produce—Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, and there is no better place to search for those than a farmer’s market. On top of that, buying local is the new trend, and it’s a good one. Not only does it help the local economy by supporting small businesses, it can be cheaper than supermarkets if you buy produce that’s in season.
  2. Free samples—Who can say no to free food? If you walk around the farmer’s market, you will likely see a lot of free samples. Take this opportunity to try new foods; if you like what you taste, ask for recipes.
  3. Getting in your exercise—Being active and walking around to all of the vendors is an easy way to get in all your daily steps and you don’t even realize you are being active. If you have a dog, take him/her for a stroll as well as many of the farmer’s markets are dog friendly.
  4. A job—Many vendors look for extra help in the summer, especially since farmer’s markets tend to be in the evening or on the weekends. If you are a people person and love to be outside, this may be a great option for a part-time job. Contact a local business if you know they are involved to ask about a job, or ask face-to-face while visiting. You never know if they might be looking another hand.
  5. Socializing—Go with a group of friends and spend time together. This is a great way to hang out with your friends that doesn’t have to cost much. Want to go by yourself? There is always a good chance you will run into someone that you know. The people that are working are usually friendly and willing to talk to anyone. And even if you don’t see someone you know, what’s not to love about people watching?!

To see what produce is in season when, visit this website.

You are in control of eating healthy, local foods.

Apr 1

What does being in a relationship mean?

Posted By addie | April 1, 2014


The results are in!

Last month’s poll question was:

When do you consider yourself in a relationship?

You guys said:

  • If we hang out a lot (11%)
  • If we’ve gone on one date (33%)
  • When we call each other boyfriend/girlfriend (55%)

Being in a relationship can mean different things to different people, and when you’re in one, you might want different things than someone else.  Watch this video to see what other teens look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend.

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