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

Tag: sports

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.

Sep 2

More than One Word

Posted By iamincontrol | September 2, 2014

teenager playing guitar
The results are in!

Last month’s poll question was:

Do you feel like people just group you into that one thing you’re good at? (i.e. jock, band nerd, artist, goth, etc.)

You guys overwhelmingly said:

    • Definitely. People don’t realize there’s more to me.

Here’s how Hayley learned how to embrace feeling more than one word.

We all have that one thing we feel defines us. You could be an athlete, a musician, a mathlete, or a dancer. We often use this one word to describe us and measure our worth. However, we are much more than this one word.

In high school I was the cheerleader. That is until my junior year when I got cut from the squad. I was super upset knowing that all of my friends would be cheering without me. Although I missed cheering on my boys to a victory in football or basketball, not making the squad didn’t turn out as bad as I thought. I was able to get involved in other activities, and it was during this time that I met some of my best friends. I had fun in the stands at sporting events, and I was able to find new passions.

Although losing that one thing you identify with may be hard, it doesn’t always have to be bad. So yes, be the athlete, musician, or dancer, but know that there is more to high school and much more to life.  One door may close, but countless others will be opened. Branch out, make new friends, and remember you are more than just that one word.

Aug 19

Food is Fuel

Posted By iamincontrol | August 19, 2014

healthy food
By Clancy

My freshman year of high school I was involved in many sports, but it wasn’t until track season that I thought I needed to lose weight. The other girls on my relay team were not the same size as I was. I thought that because I was bigger than them, it was slowing me down. I began restricting what I would eat and when I would eat it. I wouldn’t eat lunch on race days because in my mind, there was a correlation between my weight and my race times.

I was frustrated when my times weren’t improving and thought the only explanation was because I needed to lose more weight. I had already lost around 15 pounds in 2 months, and my coaches began to notice my lack of energy. My race performance actually began to worsen.

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Aug 14

Self-Esteem & Cheerleading

Posted By iamincontrol | August 14, 2014

By Anonymous

My sophomore year of high school I made the varsity cheer squad. I was the youngest on the team. This meant my close cheer friends were not there with me anymore, and I was with the older girls. I didn’t know much about them, and I was not included like I was on the other squad. As if this wasn’t hard enough, I was given a nickname calling me fat. I only weighed 100 pounds, so it was meant to be a joke, but this label caused me to have body image issues.

I did not have problems with weight because I was always active and ate a well-balanced diet, thanks to my parents. But being called such a name really upset me. I began to think my size was not socially normal and that I needed to gain weight fast. I did not want to be picked on anymore. I didn’t like the attention, so after practice I would go home and eat large quantities of food. It made me so uncomfortable, and then I would freak out because I was emotionally and physically overwhelmed.

I knew what good nutrition was, and I had a healthy relationship with food until those girls, who should have been role models, made me feel bad. Letting others shape me through their actions is something I am ashamed of. This caused me to have a poor view of my body image, leading to reduced confidence in myself and not wanting to be different within my social groups. This one name did not just affect me when I was with those girls; it affected my everyday life and my everyday decisions.

My self-esteem and health were affected, and this is something I never wanted anyone to destroy. Because I laughed and didn’t stand up for myself, this joke seemed acceptable to them. The harm of words is not temporary; it leaves an everlasting message with the individual. Through being a positive role model and a good friend to all, I aspire to be different and encouraging. Check out this website for fun, helpful information regarding a positive body image!

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 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.

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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May 15

Growing Up in South Korea: Bullying

Posted By iamincontrol | May 15, 2014

Stop bullying
By Anonymous

I want to talk about bullying experiences I had in my country, South Korea. I was bullied twice in my life. The first bullying experience was when I was in middle school. I used to be a figure skater back then. Because of practice time, I didn’t go to school often. My peers were jealous of me not going to school very often and getting advantages from being an athlete. I didn’t have any friends in my class. I didn’t care at first, but later some of girls wrote my name with cussing words on the field in front of the school. I was so shocked that I was being bullied for that reason. I assumed it was because I was an athlete; I still don’t know exactly why they hated me so much.

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May 13

Coming Face to Face with Eating Disorders

Posted By iamincontrol | May 13, 2014

By Katie

I played on a club soccer team with the same team of girls for about six years from seventh grade through the end of high school. It was great because my new step-cousin played on that team with me as well, and we quickly became best friends. Over the years of playing together and spending weekends and summers together, I started slowly realizing that she complained about her body image a lot and constantly compared herself to me as well as our other friends. It was our sophomore and junior years of high school when her strange eating habits began. However, we did not go to the same high school, so it took me a lot longer to notice than some of my other friends who attended school with her.

When it got to our junior year of high school, I attended the first winter in-door soccer practice, and I saw that a new girl had joined our team. After I mentioned to one of my other teammates about how skinny the new girl is, I was shocked to discover that the girl was actually my best friend. I had not recognized my own best friend because she had lost so much weight from her face, legs, and chest. At that moment I became furious, and I took aside the teammates of mine who went to school with her every day. I demanded to know how they could have let this happen to her. I had not seen her in about two months because we were all involved in varsity soccer or cross country at our own high schools, and we did not have any free time on the weekends. My friends explained that they had tried talking to her about it, but she hid it from them. She did not have the same lunch schedule as any of them and every time they had a team dinner she would skip or say she already ate. I had a very hard time accepting this, and it hurt that she had not come to me or even told me she was struggling.

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Apr 3

How I Let Alcohol Affect My Life

Posted By iamincontrol | April 3, 2014

 Teenage girl
By Anonymous

The beginning of my junior year of high school was going perfect, so I thought. I had the best boyfriend and friends a girl could ask for. My friends that I would hang out with every weekend were big into partying. So I thought that I needed to impress them and give into peer pressure. I went to some parties here and there with my friends, and they were pretty fun.

One Saturday night we went to a big party an older kid was throwing. We were there for about an hour, and then the next thing I knew, the cops showed up.  Everyone at the party was trying to run and hide from the cops.  That didn’t work very well because there were only two ways out of the house, and there were cops by both of those doors.  Eventually we were all sat down and were breathalyzed. They ended up giving us all tickets and wrote our names down. The cops turned the names into our school and most of us were athletes, so we had to sit out games.

After this happened I didn’t go out for the rest of my high school career. One night of partying isn’t worth getting in trouble and having to sit out and watch everyone else play. At first I wanted to blame my friends for peer pressuring me to go to this party, but then I realized that it was my fault. No one can make me do anything, I make my own choices. If you ever run across a situation like this, don’t give in. Stand your ground and make the right choice.