Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but for many women, the modern image of beauty, set by fashion and the media, is impossible to meet.

At a time when the subject of body image provokes anxiety and self-consciousness, Barbara “BB” Crawford is helping women learn how to love themselves from the inside-out.

“Over 60 percent of American women are size 14 and above, but the problem is society values the external and hasn’t spent time on growing the inner person,” said Crawford, a motivACTIONAL speaker/trainer and president of Emotional Self Sufficiency.

Crawford held her first “Creating Your Own Positive Body Image” class Monday at Heritage Park Fitness. She sees negative body image as a major crisis for women, and shared her story as a fifth-grader on Weight Watchers.

“Even when we talk about children, we’ll mention how pretty they are, but we don’t talk about their inner beauty,” she said.

Then she challenged the group of eight women to find something positive about three of the body parts they hate. They worked each exercise in the pamphlet as Crawford reminded them of a popular motto, “Don’t get stuck on the suck.”

Regular fitness club member, Vicki Hill, was seeking to make a change in her life, but didn’t know how to start.

“This is a good way to help me recognize what I need to change first,” Hill said.

In her straight-forward, low stress and humorous way, Crawford asked some thought-provoking questions, like “Would you be your own friend?” and “When was the first time your negative body image was downloaded into your life?”

“Working with BB helps me pick up my baggage and gracefully put it away without too much damage happening with it,” Brittany Burges said.

Two attendees volunteered to participate in memory exercises as Crawford led them through steps to get in touch with negative feelings.

“The more authentic you live, the less you have to hide and avoid and push down,” she said.

Army wife and mom Christina Young said her body image is way off due to her second pregnancy, but she and her husband enjoy working with Crawford.

“The tactics she uses to focus on ourselves and not everything around us is a big help to the military community,” Young said.

For more class information, call Crawford at 949-933-0915.

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