Tomsche loves Zumba so much she didn't even realize at first she was losing weight. But after four months, she had dropped 20 pounds and was getting compliments from her classmates. The attention encouraged her to keep going.
"Now (she) walks in with a big smile ... shoulders back and head up high," Venegas says.
Small town, big inspiration
Tomsche tracks her daily calories on the MyFitnessPal app and drinks protein shakes for breakfast. Giving up junk food has been hard, but she splurges occasionally on thin-crust pizza or Nutella on whole wheat waffles.
Tomsche does Zumba five to six times a week and tries to stay active the rest of the day. Her hard work has paid off -- she weighs 208 pounds and wears a size 14 pants.
"The simplest things in life have become easier," Tomsche wrote in a CNN iReport submission. "I don't feel like I can't breathe when I bend over to tie my shoes. I'm not out of breath when I walk up and down the halls at work, and even sleeping is easier since I don't have all that excess weight pressing down on me."
Venegas offered to do a professional photo shoot with Tomsche in January, and they posted the pictures online. Venegas' Zumba classes quickly filled up. She says Tomsche has inspired their small community.
Tomsche is just happy she's gotten her smile back.
"I never thought coming from a town of 12,000 (people) that I would be an inspiration for anyone," she says. "It's just given me so much confidence in myself."
Her advice for others who are struggling to lose weight? Find a workout that you love.
"It can be done," she says simply.