As an 18-year Air Force Reserves Aeromedical Evacuation Flight Medic at Andrews AFB, MD, I take my mission seriously: to care for our injured soldiers and transport them to a higher level of care.
Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

How to Boost PT Test Scores and Your Military Career

By: Marguerite Hellwich

As an 18-year Air Force Reserves Aeromedical Evacuation Flight Medic at Andrews AFB, MD, I take my mission seriously: to care for our injured soldiers and transport them to a higher level of care. It is an honor that is also personally fulfilling. I integrate 25-years of massage and bodywork therapy into supporting fitness for each soldier, some recovering from multiple challenges including injuries or surgeries. As an esthetician with a specialty in anti-aging treatments and skin care, I apply my knack for assessing and treating a multitude of skin issues.

In 2012 I became a certified Hot Yoga Teacher, a yoga that offers warrior-like challenges and miraculous fitness results. I have taught Hot Yoga to military members in Afghanistan, Germany and stateside. I have a goal to bring hot yoga to military physical training.

I am passionate about military health and fitness.

Recently, I had to turn that expertise toward myself.

My military PT test was approaching. I was hoping to advance my military career and make E-8/Senior Master Sergeant.

I had always scored well on military PT tests, but the past few years have been increasingly challenging: my waist measurement has been growing even while my weight remained the same. I am strong and flexible, but an expanding waistline is a common issue for people of a certain age, men and women.

I needed my waistline under 36” to pass my PT with the goal of advancing my status and my military pay.

If I failed, I would receive a referral EPR and an LOC, and I would not be eligible for promotion. I could conceivably be asked to leave the military at 20 years. Most importantly, I wouldn’t be considered a good role model for those I supervise.

In the Air Force, leadership is at least as important as the primary AFSC.

Certainly if I failed my PT I could take the test again; but if I failed again, I could lose a stripe which meant a reduction in pay and possible forced early military leave without retiring.

In short, failing my military PT could halt my military career rather than advance it.

I really wanted was to ace my military PT, to boost my chances for promotion, higher pay, and continued military career advancement.

I was already in good physical condition, which is of course most important. My diet has variety without overindulgence. I switched to a gluten free/grain free eating - no flour or sugar, no preservatives, lots of vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and some fruits. I felt better than ever.

Hot yoga was keeping my muscles strong and supple. I had started hot yoga before my deployment to Iraq, to acclimate me to the Mideast climate. I was right: thanks to hot yoga, I handled the heat of the desert like a champion. Many days on deployment were as hot as 130 on the flight line inside the aircraft yet it didn’t bother me. I wish everyone trained with hot yoga before deployment!

The only question standing between me and my military advancement was, how to effectively shrink my waistline?

I had tried skin wraps popular for firming, but to no avail. I had used waist shapers in the past but I was concerned that they were not a healthy option, as they compress the organs.

With my PT just a week away, I needed help in a hurry.

A friend told me about a plant based body contouring cream that was showing promise. I’m a natural skeptic, and I back up all health claims with scientific, medical proof. The claims about Nerium Firm Body Contouring Cream seemed counter to what I’d learned about expecting impressive results without plastic surgery. I read the science, saw the photos and spoke to product representatives and I still I couldn’t figure out how this cream could work.

But I was in a rush. No time to be skeptical, just time to try it myself.

Day 1: I started using Nerium Firm Body Contouring Cream on Monday evening. Before the first application I took photos of my waist and noted my waist measurement: 38.25.” I was looking at a failed military PT.

Day 3: I thought I looked slimmer, and my skin seemed firmer and smoother to the touch. I chalked it up to wishful thinking

Day 5: I was teaching hot yoga when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrors and then, I literally couldn’t take my eyes off myself. My waistline had reappeared: an indented, curved hourglass shape.

Day 6: I took my waist measurement: 34”

Day 7: I arrived early at my squadron for my PT test. The protocol calls for taking the waist measurement 3 times, then averaging to find your score.

Each waist measurement was 33”

My waistline had dropped over 5 inches in one week. I could see it in the mirror, I could feel it in how my clothes fit, and I could hear it the compliments.

I scored 87.5% on my military PT, a high score that finally reflected my true level of fitness. Plus a bonus: in prior tests, my pushups were barely passing. Now, with my reduced waistline, I was able to up my points on pushups.

My fitness goal for military advancement: achieved.

With my specialty in skincare and anti-aging, I also explored Nerium anti-aging facial cream. After two weeks, the ‘number one’ line between my eyebrows – the one I kept threatening with Botox - was softer and less pronounced. The number 11s – those two furrowed brow lines – also smoothed out.

Weeks after my PT test, my waist measurement stabilized at 32.75 inches. My face had a “glow” thanks to greatly reduced pore size, and the skin on my face, neck an décolleté felt tighter, smoother, softer.

Then I got the best result of all.

I was reunited with my military husband after a month apart, and he stared at me. “I don’t want to say the wrong thing here,” he began, “but you look amazing! Your face and your body!’” I could see what he meant: my complexion looked brighter. The dark patches around my eyes, as well as discoloration on my cheeks and ears from sun damage, were all lighter.

And I was unmistakably slimmer.

My “PT stress” is over and my military career is on the right track. Now I can’t wait to take PT tests, to show off my results and to share my findings with other soldiers. After all, healing, supporting, and problem solving are all part of my commitment to care for every soldier in need.




BIO: Marguerite Hellwich has a lifelong career supporting soldiers achieve health and fitness. As an Emergency Medical Technician and Licensed Practical Nurse, Marguerite has served in the military Reserves for over 18 years currently as Aeromedical Evacuation Flight Medic in the Air Force Reserves At Andrews AFB, MD. She experienced three deployments in 4 years: Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany. Marguerite is also a licensed Massage therapist with more than 25 years in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular Therapy, Myokinesthetics, Trigger Point Release, Thai Yoga Bodywork, and sports massage, as well as an Esthetician in anti-aging treatments and skin care, waxing, and body treatments. Marguerite became a certified Hot Yoga Teacher in 2014 and currently classes to military members on deployment and stateside. She is also a Federally trained and certified Mediator specializing in alternative dispute resolution for veterans and their families. With her passion for inner and outer fitness, Marguerite became a distributor for Nerium skincare products.



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