At her heaviest, Julia Kozerski weighed 338 pounds. After viewing her wedding pictures in 2009, the first pictures sheâ€™d taken in ten years, Kozerski started a weight loss and introspective journey. Uniquely, she captured it all in an impressive photography essay called â€śHalf.â€ť
Upon seeing her wedding pictures, Kozerski said, “I didn’t see that happiness. I saw someone scared of the camera — that wasn’t me.”
“I don’t think we knew the steps to take, we had never been introduced to diets or proper food,” she said.
The wedding photos were the final straw for Kozerski. She said she woke up one day and declared, “I’m done being sad.”
Kozerski took her first steps towards health by starting a weight loss blog and using an online calorie tracker. She was able to quit drinking soda and stop eating out. Kozerski added more fruit and vegetables and also added simple exercise like walking.
The weight began to fall off and inspiration struck. Kozerski, a full-time college student, had found her inspiration for her photography project: herself. She began with close-ups of her back and her abdomen. These faceless photos were the beginning of her story being told.
“This is a story people relate to and talk about. I was just being as honest as I can. It becomes less about my experience and more about this greater story.”
Kozerski continued with the project, exposing more of her body and describing her struggles with weight with each image. She used no editing, no makeup, no clothes, just her and her natural state.
Throughout the project Kozerski has lost a total of 160 pounds, half her weight. Sheâ€™s gained a lot of understanding about herself.
“I’m just a 27-year-old, Midwestern wife and full-time college student. By definition, I am the ‘Average Jane,’ I just realized that I was unhappy about myself and about my health and made simple changes to my lifestyle by eating better and moving more. Before I was horrified of imperfections, now I see the imperfections as battle scars. I’m proud of what I’ve gone through and what I’ve done now.”
March 25th, 2012