"These images allowed me to outright see that I was making progress," Kozerski says

By Maggie Coughlan
September 26, 2012 10:15 AM
Julia Kozerski

Losing 160 lbs. isn’t easy and neither is sharing the process with the world.

After artist Julia Kozerski got married in 2009, she decided to make a series of changes to her lifestyle which resulted in losing 160 lbs. over the course of the next year.

Kozerski, who was studying photography at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design at the time, documented her journey through a series of self-portraits taken with her iPhone.

An unintentional series, these photographs were never meant to be shared but while working on “Half” – another body of work where Kozerski explores her relationships with food, obsession, self-control and self-image – Kozerski unearthed her transformative iPhone portraits titled "Changing Room."

“As the weight came off, the shape of my body shifted dramatically and the monumental task of maintaining a well-fitting wardrobe ensued. I felt lost, not understanding the person looking back at me in the mirror,” Kozerski writes in the project’s artist statement.

“My physique was always in a state of flux and, in an attempt to strike a balance between how I felt and how I looked, I ventured out to stores on a daily basis, piling my arms full of clothing of all shapes and sizes. There was no method to my madness and I subsequently spent hours within the confines of store dressing rooms trying to ‘find’ myself.”

When asked by NPR about the inspirational power of her images, Kozerski replied: “As I worked toward losing weight, the iPhone photos were mainly ways for me to pause my progress (even if only for a split second),” she says.

“It was a full-time job being a newlywed, a first-time homeowner, a full-time college student and a caretaker for my ill parents. Needless to say, that time in my life was overwhelming,” she says. “Looking back, I needed these photographs. These images allowed me to outright see that I was making progress. Without them, I am not sure I would have had the motivation to move forward.”