Photos: Dancing her way to a transformation

Published 2:11 PM ET, Wed April 3, 2013
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At 21, Ashlee Tomsche weighed 331 pounds. Her body mass index, or BMI, was 44, which the National Institutes of Health considers to be significantly obese. Courtesy Ashlee Tomsche
Tomsche had tried to lose weight before by walking on a treadmill, but she quickly got bored. Then in January 2012, she decided to go to her first Zumba class. Courtesy Ashlee Tomsche
Tomsche credits her instructor Maria Venegas, bottom left, with helping her stick to an exercise routine. "It's just so much fun," Tomsche says of Zumba. Courtesy Ashlee Tomsche
Tomsche's mother, Terri, has also jumped on the Zumba train. They participated in a Relay for Life event with other members from their class in June 2012.
Courtesy Ashlee Tomsche
By taking Zumba classes five to six days a week, Tomsche has dropped 123 pounds. Courtesy Maria Venegas
Tomsche used to wear a size 26 pant. Now she wears a size 14. Courtesy Maria Venegas
Tomsche weighs 208 pounds, but she says she hopes to get under 200 to be in a healthy weight range. Courtesy Maria Venegas
A professional photographer on weekends, Venegas took pictures of Tomsche after her weight loss and posted them to Facebook. "People were very surprised and inspired by her transformation," Venegas says. Courtesy Maria Venegas