My Health Journey: Part 2

Jun 1, 2024

I’ve been so hesitant to share about this journey because for me it truly is not a weight loss journey at all, it is a mental health journey. I didn’t set out to lose weight. My weight loss has been natural because I just eat less now. But no one can physically see the tremendous transformation that has taken place inside my head; what others can see is the difference that shows in my body size.

A repeat client came in for a photo session recently, and she of course noticed that my body was smaller than the last time she saw me.  She asked me how I had lost weight and I told her my story.

She asked me, “Kari, why haven’t you shared your story publicly? Why are you not sharing about something that is helping you?”

Trust me, I’d thought about sharing multiple times. But for me, it always felt very complicated and confusing, which would lead to overwhelm and inaction.

First, the weight loss injectables have a lot of controversy surrounding them. I’ve heard them called the easy way out, as if you haven’t taken the traditional routes, then what you’re doing is invalid. There has been a lot of shaming and judgment towards public figures who have taken these drugs. There is still just so much judgment around mental health and bodies and weight loss and gain, and I didn’t want to get sucked into the shame and judgment spiral. So I chose to keep my story private and just share it with those who are closest to me.

Second, I don’t really like to talk about/put emphasis on weight at all. I 1000% believe that our bodies are the least interesting things about us; I see people for the most interesting parts of them: their goals, their dreams, the good they are doing in the world, the beauty and light they bring to the world. I photograph people of all sizes and truly believe that all bodies deserve to exist in photos and be beautifully photographed. And that’s not just something that I say; I believe this to my core. As a body image advocate, I would never want to appear as though I was trying to make my body smaller to look better. I would never want to appear as though I thought that having a smaller body was better.

I sent the photo above to a friend in April, and she didn’t reply to it. I asked her the next day why she didn’t comment, and she said something to the effect of “you promote body positivity and it seemed weird that you were saying that you looked better.”

What? I didn’t say that at all! This photo was really the first time I had seen the weight loss myself. These two photos were taken exactly a year apart at the exact same location, so it was a direct comparison. On the left was where I started on this journey: 297 pounds. That was the highest weight I had ever been. On the left was a year in when I had lost around 55 pounds, so I was around 242 lbs. More than anything, I was surprised at seeing the difference for the first time and was trying to convey that. Weight loss is a result of stopping the disordered overeating, and I really saw for the first time myself that these drugs were in fact truly helping me. And I didn’t hate my body at 297 pounds. I had worked on body acceptance for so many years that I loved my body at that weight. I don’t love my body more at the 235 pounds I currently am at. My body is just changing; I do not equate more or less love or happiness with the size of my body.

But unfortunately, this was one of the first reactions I received, and I was really nervous that others would react the same way. So I continued to keep my story private and just share it with those who are closest to me.

I was talking to another friend though, and she said, “why keep white-knuckling life?” And that really struck me. Why keep doing the same ole same ole with no success when a product that can help is available? Even if there is controversy around it, even if I am worried about judgment, if it’s something that can help, then try it. It’s no different than taking antidepressants to help with anxiety and depression. It’s no different than using any other known tool to help with a specific situation. I wanted to quiet the eating disorder voice in my head, and here was a tool to help with that.  So here I am finally sharing about it, and sharing that I am so happy with the way Mounjaro has helped me.


As a result of the weight loss that has occurred due to the quieting of the eating disorder voice, these are the things that haven’t changed and have changed:


  • I am not happier after losing 60+ lbs. I have about the same happiness level, because my happiness is not found in my body.
  • Weight does not dictate health. We can be unhealthy at any weight. We can be healthy at any weight. I haven’t had my labs checked in the past year, so I can’t really comment on this aspect, but I feel as though I am at about the same health as I was. Honestly, this is an area that I have been putting off but I will be seeing my doctor this month.
  • I am not more loved. I have the same love of family and friends in my life. Love is not a result of a body size.
  • I am not more successful. My business didn’t miraculously grow because I lost weight. My business is not dependent on my body size.
  • I am not a better parent or friend now. I parent the same, because my parenting skills are not dependent on my body size (I will say that I can move around easier with my son now as a result of losing weight). I am still a good friend, and that hasn’t changed because of my body size.
  • I am not out experiencing life more joyfully now that I have a smaller body. Since doing so much personal inner work, my size does not dictate what experiences I have in my life. We can fully and joyfully live our lives in the ways that we want to at any body size.


  • Shopping is more fun now. It’s easier to go into more stores and find clothing in a size that fits.
  • I suppose that because my facial shape changed a bit, I also felt more confident cutting my hair off and going ultra blonde.
  • I’ve been showing up in photos and video a little more because I’ve been having more fun with my style and wanting to show that off.

We think that if we can just lose the weight, we will be…happier, healthier, more loved, more successful, better parents, better friends, have more joyful experiences, etc, etc. It’s just not the case, as you have read above. Happiness, love, joy and success can’t be found in external things, including the way our body looks. True happiness, love, joy and success is an inside job, and the more we continue to work on the inner self, the less we feel the need to rely on our outer selves and the world around us to fulfill anything for us.


Since sharing my new photos, I’ve been receiving a lot of compliments, one of them being “you look great!” Next week in my third and probably last installment, I’ll share more about how this compliment feels and what we can say differently to people whose bodies have changed.