Extreme weight loss is a life-altering experience—both physically and emotionally. For Samantha Geballe, a photographer from California, gastric bypass surgery made her “two adults smaller,” but it was not an automatic path to happiness. The photographer documented her entire weight-loss process through self-portraits. But her photos are unlike any other before-and-afters you’ve seen—and no, it’s not because they’re nude.

Geballe told Refinery29 that the photos were her way of coming to terms with her new body. “It became a way of being kind to myself,” she said. “I continue to photograph myself now because I need to see… I want to understand and accept myself.” We are so moved by the raw, honest emotion captured in each shot. It’s what makes the photos relatable to anyone who’s ever struggled to accept their body—even if their story isn’t quite the same: