Liz Plosser discovered a love for marathon running, and one day during a long run with her Team in Training running group, she first shared her soul’s dream – to be a magazine editor. At the time she was working in investment banking, and she knew deep down it wasn’t the path for her. And while she was learning a lot, and admits the job gave her the training to make a mean Excel spreadsheet, it simply wasn’t her life’s passion.
“That really forced me to do some soul-searching about what made me happy,” Liz says.
Now, with a 15-year career in the wellness industry on her resume, Liz is living her dream out in real life as the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health. (She’s also now a triathlete in addition to a marathoner, too!) At the helm of the popular health magazine for females, Liz has brought her passion for fitness and a fresh new vision to the magazine. Others are taking notice too, as Women’s Health received a recent ASME nomination and Adweek Hot List win for Hottest Women’s Health Magazine.
Previous to working at Women’s Health, Liz oversaw digital strategy as the senior vice president of content for Well+Good. Before that she worked as the senior director of content and communications at SoulCycle. And before both of these tenures, Liz worked as the former deputy editor of Self, and helped earn Cosmopolitan its first-ever national magazine award while overseeing the global brand’s health coverage.
When Liz isn’t editing articles and crafting headlines, you can find her sweating it out in the morning, and spending time with her three kids in the evening. She’s also a regular at SLT and also swears by The Class by Taryn Toomey. Liz loves working out so much that she’s even hosted her last three birthday parties at SoulCycle! She’s on a mission to empower women to own their mornings and be #WHStrong. And we love that she’s not just talking about it, but she’s actually making it happen!
What is something you learned in your jobs working in various roles in the health sector that helps shape your perspective today as editor-in-chief?
Having worked in editorial (at SELF, Cosmo and Time Out Chicago), on the brand side (as senior director of content at SoulCycle) and in the digital space (as SVP of content at Well+Good), I think I’ve had unique opportunity to experience how women think, feel, talk about and experience wellness at every touchpoint. Since women interact with Women’s Health every day in so many different ways, I think those experiences have been incredibly valuable for me.
What is a “day in the life of Liz” like? How much time do you spend editing, generating content ideas, meeting with editors, etc.?
Every day is different! I try to do the things that require the most creativity and brain power first thing in the morning—big brainstorms, editing a complicated piece and cover lines.
On the topic of idea generation, what sources do you look to for inspiration and content ideas, or even issue themes?
The Women’s Health team is in Slack, and a lot of our story ideas and issue themes come out of the topics that resonate with us there … as well as in brainstorm meetings. Sometimes a little story idea will come up, but while talking it over as a team, we realize there is something much bigger there, and we’ll blow it out across our channels. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a lightning bolt moment or cracked a tough concept while I’m doing my morning run or strength training. I wish I had more time to be out and about exploring all of the amazing things happening in the wellness space—because often the best ideas come from living your life!—but fortunately my amazing team of editors is doing that every day.
What is the part of your job that gets you excited to come to work every day?
All parts! There are so many opportunities for our brand on all of our channels and in new ones, too … it’s a dream to come into work every day with my incredibly talented, passionate, hardworking team members.
What part of your work can stress you out the most? Have you found any methods that help for dealing with this?
At Women’s Health we are a tiny but mighty team, which means everyone wears many hats. The days go by in a flash! I have to remember to pace my energy throughout the day—it’s so easy to hustle from one thing to the next with your heart racing the entire time!—so I have plenty left in the tank at the end of a long day and for my kiddos and hubs when I get home from work.
As someone who understands what it takes to be healthy better than most, what tips can you offer that you’ve found personally useful for staying as healthy as possible as a working woman with after-hours emails, short lunch breaks, etc.?
I find that I perform my best when I’m getting enough sleep, sweating regularly, and eating clean, colorful foods. All of that is easier said than done, but I really try to hit at least two out of the three every day.
What is something about your job that you want others to know about?
How fun it is! I tell people every single day that I have the best job in the entire world, and I mean that with all of my heart.
What are some future goals for you, and for your vision with Women’s Health?
I think the biggie is to relentlessly push Women’s Health to grow and evolve. We have such an exciting opportunity to be the go-to health and wellness destination for women across the globe, and to find new ways to reach and resonate with our audience.
What advice do you have for others looking to work either at a magazine or in the industry of health and wellness?
This industry changes quickly! Being nimble and agile is a key to success, whether you’re in publishing or wellness in general.
Any parting advice?
Work hard and with a positive attitude. I’ve made mistakes, fallen down many times … I’m proudest of myself for getting back up and finding the inner strength to push forward. A lot of it is mental: If you really believe you can do better, you’re halfway there.
I’d love to have coffee with:
Michelle Obama. I met her right before her book, Becoming, came out and was so inspired in my work and family life.
The books on my nightstand are:
I read a lot of long-form magazine and newspaper pieces in the Texture app on my iPad.
My current favorite saying, or mantra, is:
“Let’s make better mistakes tomorrow.”
My favorite way to spend my day off is:
A long run with friends, cuddles, followed by brunch in the neighborhood with my three kiddos and husband, and an afternoon manicure/pedicure. Ahh.
One lesson I’ve learned lately is:
Family really is everything. I’m so lucky to have a strong support network—my husband, my three kiddos, my mom and dad, my two brothers, my sister, my in-laws and brothers- and sisters-in-law. And my friends. They’re the people who love me no matter what, and through the good and bad times.
I can’t live without:
Athleta Sculptek Skinny Jeans—so comfy. I have three pairs and rotate them on the regular. Also, lime flavored LaCroix. And morning coffee. And a good commuting playlist.
I feel my best when:
I’ve gotten enough sleep (for me that’s 8 hours a night!), I’ve banked a morning workout, and I’m caffeinating at my desk by 9 a.m. Then I’m in my zone.
A lot of it is mental: If you really believe you can do better, you’re halfway there.