Julia Kozerski once weighed 338 pounds and had a body mass index of 49.9. But today, after taking charge of a vicious weight gain cycle fueled by depression, Kozerski now weighs 160 pounds less. Only, the results of her efforts aren’t quite what she expected.

“My experience contradicts what the media tends to portray,” she wrote on her website. “While it is easy to celebrate and appreciate the dramatic physical results of such an endeavor, underneath the layers of clothing and behind closed doors, quite a different reality exists.” This reality is the focus of her photo project, called Half.

Kozerski told The Huffington Post that Half “didn’t start as a ‘project’ per se;” it was more her way of trying to capture for herself the painful physical and emotional struggles she had with food, self-control, and self-image. But after artistically taking nude photographs of her new body, she realized her photos could have a greater impact on the public. And so far, she was right; Kozerski told Medical Daily in an email that Half has successfully elicted open, honest, and emotional conversations.

“I have received countless emails from individuals from across the world, sharing their personal stories and feelings about their own experiences,” she said. “From recovering drug addicts and survivors of abuse to those who have battled with cancer and those who have endured their individual struggles with self-image, it is no secret that we are all in this fight together. I appreciate that my story has allowed others to feel comfortable enough to share their own.”

Click through for a sample of Half, and visit Kozerski’s website for more from this and her other projects.