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