This week's New Yorker gets hearts racing in Springfield Gardens, where her much-loved fitness routine is the thing to do for anyone who has a lot to lose. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report, which was shot, written and edited by Rachel Smith.
When you're in the presence of Denise Warren, hard work pays off.
Five nights a week, Warren transforms a public school gymnasium into Body By Denise.
It's a formidable two-hour workout known to its loyal fans as BBD.
"A lot of people are afraid when they first come, but once they get to know the class and realize that we're very receptive, they blend in," Warren says.
Denise has been the go-to woman for those in southeast Queens who are struggling with an unhealthy life for more than 25 years.
She's clearly making a difference. NY1 received dozens of nominations for Warren to be the New Yorker of the Week.
They told amazing stories, clients like Michele Bercy, who weighed 275 pounds before starting at BBD.
"Just by coming here every day, everyone becomes family," Bercy says. "It's the BBD family."
Warren pushes her "family" during the two hours in class, but she also encourages them to lead a healthy lifestyle the other 22 hours in a day by teaching the basics of nutrition.
Her motto: "living fitness every day."
"If you can pick it, pluck it, milk it or catch it, then you can eat it," Warren says. "Simple enough?"
That attitude is what brings so many back every night, New Yorkers like Denise Hoggard, who weighed 230 pounds before getting hooked on the BBD routine.
"She has a genuine quality about her," Hoggard says. "She's real, and you can see that she honestly wants you to be your healthiest, wants you to be your fittest. She takes no days off. She's here every night and gives her all. It's priceless, what we learn here."
For Warren, seeing her hard work pay off is equally invaluable.
"That's part of how I get paid," she says. "It's knowing and seeing the results. That's important to me. That's really what's most important."
So, for inspiring her community to live fitness every day, Denise Warren is our New Yorker of the Week.