Woman's Self-Portraits Show What Major Weight Loss Really Looks Like (PHOTOS)

half photo seriesWhen you're anxious to lose a great deal of weight, it can be easy to think not just your body but your life will be perfect afterward. Surely all your problems will melt away, along with those extra pounds. But the reality is far more complicated, as evidenced by a stunning new photo series entitled "Half."

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Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Julia Kozerski struggled with her weight. By the time she was 25, she had reached 338 pounds and had a BMI (body mass index) of 49.9. In other words, Julia was morbidly obese.

The Milwaukee-based artist and photographer explains on her website:

I wished nothing more than to physically be someone other than myself, believing that doing so would make me happier.

In 2009, Julia committed to losing weight. Not through major surgery, but old-school style: calorie-counting and exercise. It was no easy task, as you can imagine. But Julia stuck with it.

She also turned the camera on herself, becoming the subject of her own photo story. Because as the pounds came off, Julia realized the "real" person she was inside wasn't going anywhere. Even when she lost HALF her weight, she continued to struggle with body image, food, and self-control.

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Her self-portraits capture that intimate sense of disappointment, of feeling like you SHOULD fit into yourself yet still quite don't.

Here are just a few striking images from the photo series Julia has entitled "Half." 

half photo series

half photo series

half photo series

half photo series

At first, Julia didn't let anyone see these photos -- not until she'd lost close to 100 pounds. Even then, she only released them to her husband and art school classmates.

But as she told The Huffington Post:

Eventually, I realized that the story I was telling had a greater, more universal message ... We are all flawed in some way. But if you know that you are not alone and that there is no normal -- no 'right' or 'wrong' -- you can live openly and freely.

 

Images via Julia Kozerski

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