The author and actress says it’s easy to celebrate others—but sometimes harder to go easy on herself.
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Casey Wilson against designed background
Credit: Duffy Higgins

Casey Wilson likes to get spicy. The Happy Endings actress and essayist—her 2021 memoir was an instant New York Times bestseller—just teamed up with Hellmann's spicy mayo to inspire your next meal with a kick and serve as the brand's official Spicy Ambassador (a title Wilson says she wants plastered on her gravestone). 

Wilson shared with us a couple of her favorite ways to use Hellmann's newest mayo—including drizzling some on her sushi or adding a squeeze to grilled corn—and also chatted about what her priorities are in the kitchen.

Wilson, who wrote about her relationship with food and weight loss in The Wreckage of My Presence, tells EatingWell that she tries to stay away from assigning value judgments to food, especially when she's around her two kids. "I always say this to my kids: I feel like nothing is 'bad' in moderation," Wilson says. "You know, they're always like, 'Is that a bad food? Is that unhealthy?' And I just don't respond to those words."

Wilson has the right idea when it comes to creating a healthy attitude toward food and moderation. Everything, even sweets or salty snacks, can be a part of a healthy eating pattern. In fact, some of the foods we might think of as unhealthy can actually pack in lots of health benefits, whether it's the brain-health benefits of a glass of wine or the heart-healthy perks of enjoying some dark chocolate

"I'll speak for myself," Wilson adds. "Sometimes you're like, 'If I can't have this, I can't have that,' and all of this calculating—and it's so boring to me. There's so much more that I'd so much rather be thinking about and doing."

Wilson's relaxed approach to eating well has a lot in common with intuitive eating, which encourages people to enjoy the foods they love, eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. It's a simple philosophy, but research shows that it can help improve body image and help folks with eating disorders.

But while Wilson is all about building a body- and food-positive environment for her kids, she says she still has a hard time focusing that positivity inward. "I wish I was raised in the more body-positive generation," Wilson tells EatingWell. "When I see other women, I'm always like, 'You look so beautiful.' But I have a harder time turning that same sentiment towards myself."

It's no secret that we can be our own harshest critics. It's always a good idea to show yourself some extra compassion when you're feeling down on yourself. (And if you're feeling especially low, seeking help from a mental health professional can be a great idea, too.) Surrounding yourself with people who lift you up can help, too, be it family or friends, or positive influences on social media (we love following fellow celebs, like Lizzo and Mindy Kaling, for just that reason).

So the next time you're feeling down about yourself, remember to take a step back. You're so much more than your appearance! And the way you compliment your friends is exactly how you should be complimenting yourself. Everyone deserves to feel good in the body they have. 

That's why we love Wilson's approach to thinking about food just as much as we love her sense of humor—you should always feel free to eat the foods you love and feel at home in your body.