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BarbaraBarbara from Somerset wrote on May 11, 2021 on 2:11 am:
My name is Barbara and I'm a little embarrassed to even write my story. I am 69 years young and have ALWAYS been a picky eater. My family laughs at me but it is a real issue sometimes. If there are things that I don't like to eat, or the smell makes me gag, I will starve rather than eat it. Years ago I used to Model and now after 36 years I'm still an excellent modeling & commercial acting coach. In my 30's I developed bulimia while Modeling & depressed, I got thru those times. And it's funny how I tell my models to eat healthy, but I don't like so many foods myself. Later when my mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer, I gave up meat (which was very easy because I hated steaks, pot roasts, pork of any kind, etc.) and now I just eat chicken all the time! I only eat bland foods! And always plain. I love my sweets though, but I do not eat fruit that's cooked. Too slimmy! Textures, Smells & appearances keeps me away from so many foods. Oh well, I don't think there's any help for me at this age of my life.
DanielDaniel from Omaha wrote on April 21, 2021 on 4:05 am:
My name is Daniel and I am 30 years old and I am a very picky eater. I can’t seem to enjoy any type of vegetable which makes it hard to eat healthy. I enjoy hamburger, cheese, potatoes, and cereal. I usually don’t stray too far from eating things that involve that.
BrianBrian from Charlotte wrote on April 7, 2021 on 6:02 pm:
Hi my names Brian, I’m 20 years old and been a picky eater my whole life. I recently started trying to get more healthy like eating salads. The foods I can eat basically like comfort food which I know is bad for my health. I can eat like fruits and the only vegetables I eat now is baby spinach since I make spinach salad sometimes when I’m trying to save money. I can eat like veggies with food I like on like a burger with tomatoes and lettuce, and onions etc, it’s just that now I want to be more healthy and know my body gonna change if I keep on being like this down the line I just hope to be eat normally like everyone. I also want to be more active but with my eating habits it would be hart to be active.
WowWow from Minneapolis wrote on March 23, 2021 on 2:26 am:
Im a 26 year old woman. I eat the same things over and over because I don’t like anything else. I really want to eat new things but it just doesn't taste good. I hate gatherings with food. Everyone always has to point me out as the picky eater EVERY EVENT! Like God leave me alone im already beating myself up over this why do you have to embarrass me even more. I want to lose weight and its not the working out part that's a problem for me. Its the food. It's to the point I don't even work out anymore because its like what's the point it doesn't work without the right diet. I eat some fruit but no veggies. Ive been thinking about just going on a fruit diet. Idk I was hoping there would be like recipes and tips on here to get me started.
RachelRachel wrote on March 17, 2021 on 7:47 pm:
Hi, I'm 25 and have been picky my entire life. Reluctantly, when people ask, I say "I basically eat like a four year old - chicken nuggets, plain pasta, French fries, ice cream." I don't describe how the chicken nuggets must be from specific places or the pasta must be a specific shape and brand or the limited ice cream flavors that I eat. My parents went to many pediatricians only to be told the same thing each time: "don't worry - she'll grow out of it." They weren't satisfied with that answer but every medical professional they went to, they were given that same response. About 6 years ago, I didn't have the food that I liked available to me due to being on a college campus and I lost too much weight and had to go to a residential eating disorder program. They treated me like I was anorexic and then I eventually got kicked out. I have been officially diagnosed with ARFID but have not found anyone in my area who specializes in treating it. I wish I could eat like a "normal person" but I can't. I have lost so many friends due to being picky and feel so isolated. After reading the guestbook, I see there's so many more people out there like me that are picky. I feel like I relate to every post.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Rachel
You are not alone. I never want to be trapped in the situation you found yourself in. I would certainly have been kicked out also. I once heard from a very nice young lady whose parents admitted her into the hospital and the plan was to withhold the foods she could eat and starve her into eating what was offered. It wasn't very long before the doctors got scared and realized she was not going to eat and her condition became concerning and the treatment was stopped. People don't realize that to us many of their foods appear like fresh vomit to us. We have not heard of many real cures over the years. It is possible to expand what you can eat but it will always be with stipulations like plain or no pepper etc. Glad you found our site and I'm sending you a direct invite to our active support group. Bob K
BonnieBonnie from New York wrote on March 14, 2021 on 2:22 pm:
I'm in my early 30s and am the only picky eater I know. Like just about everyone who's written here, this has been something I've dealt with for as long as I can remember. While I've found a few ways to manage having this issue and having a social life, I'm not sure that the feelings of wanting to "fix" myself will ever go away. For example, whenever going out to eat with friends, I try to pick a place with not rid a variety of food because I hate the idea of people feeling as limited as I do at times. Dating at times can be a bit stressful as well, especially considering most adults I know are more health conscious and my picky taste buds don't really like a lot of things that I know would be better for me. So this is one of the few times the fear of judgement feeds into my social anxieties. I can say, however, that I have tried here and there over the years to try new things, so long as I know someone else is there to finish the food in question if I'm unable to (I hate being wasteful if I can help it!). And it's not like I have a fear of being alone in any regard, but I do have a fear of people becoming too annoyed and/or bothered by this thing I can't control.
PetePete wrote on March 9, 2021 on 2:01 am:
Hi. I'm a 50 y/o man and have suffered through what is now diagnosed as Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder all my life. My dad used to (seemingly) enjoy telling anyone he met that I have never taken a bite of meat in my life; which isn't actually accurate, as my parents tried for years to influence, cajole, force me to eat like a "normal" person. Every time, meat made me gag and cough it up. But, it isn't just meat that fails my appearance, smell, taste, texture sensitivities. It's almost everything anymore. I can count on 2 hands the things I can safely eat these days, and I worry as the "genetically modified" thing (a worse problem for me) becomes more commonplace, I'll have even less to choose from. I should add, I'm a super taster (along with having a very strong sense of smell (onions are one of the absolute banes of my existence)), and have a diagnosis of autism (although that was over 30 years ago..I am probably more accurately diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum). Anyway, I could go on ad-infinitum regarding my troubles...I have nobody in my life who even comes close to empathizing with my situation. My best friend tries, but even she just isn't even reading the same book, if the metaphor makes sense. It's been a long slog through life being like this, and it isn't getting any easier. I am absolutely terrified of ever being hospitalized...I would starve. I don't know how to connect with anyone who can empathize with my situation. I'm a bit of a Luddite, so I'm not into much social media (sharing memes on Facebook is about it). I've never met anyone who is similarly afflicted. I've looked on this site from time-to-time since I found it years ago, but haven't written in the guestbook til now. I've always been extremely self-conscious of how this seems to others...and strongly actively try to avoid social eating situations. The questions, comments, unknowing insults, overt insults, over the years have just made it worse. Thanksgiving is the worst, WORST, time for me. I abhor the day! As a kid (around 9 or 10), one older brother told me after cornering me alone in another room just before Thanksgiving dinner, that I'd die if I didn't eat turkey. It's one of my earliest and most upsetting memories of childhood. I envy the "normal" eaters. I do wish I was like them. But, I'm not, and that's not going to change. I know, it's been said things can be worse...sure, I've witnessed some bad medical situations of people I know and love, and how they've ended in death. I get that. But, going through life just barely eating enough to not literally starve, isn't a walk in the park. I guess I am trying to make my case to be allowed to communicate with others through this site directly, if only to have someone to hear me, and understand. I don't seek solutions; I know they don't exist. However, just having someone to tell my tale to, to commiserate with, would be helpful...
Admin Reply by: Bob
Hello Peter
Regarding your fear of being in a hospital. You should make sure that in your permanent medical record there is an ARFID entry under your listed conditions. I was in the hospital in March of 2016 for bypass surgery and because I had that ARFID entry I was able to get the food service people to send me things I could eat. They even got me some Chocolate Milk. There are no easy answers and I have experienced much of what you have written about. Now retired with my 3rd wife of 20 years. I will be sending you a direct invite to one of our support groups and there is also a facebook group listed on the websites front page. Glad you found us.
BeckyBecky from Ocean Shores wrote on February 23, 2021 on 6:34 pm:
Hi! I’m Becky, I’m 62, and words can not express how I feel finding this site. I have been a selective eater all my life, and thought it was just me. I don’t go out to eat often, and try and avoid situations where there will be eating involved.
I would love to try new foods, but I just can’t. I not only am a selective eater, but also the brand of the food.
I’m blessed to have a husband that supports me.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Glad you found us Becky. There are many people just like you and me in this world.
LisaLisa from Connecticut wrote on February 22, 2021 on 2:16 pm:
Hi, I'm a Mom of a very picky 16 yr. old. Thank Goodness I found this website today and read all your incredible stories! I cried as I realized our son's eating issues are really out of his control! I have been beating myself up thinking we did something wrong as parents (though our 2 other kids eat fine). I feel terrible for the times we insisted he eat new foods day after day. But his 'extreme' response of gagging then tears scared me too. We have hoped he'd outgrow it by now, and fear for his health and relationships as he gets older. Reading some of your stories have given me understanding and hope that he can safely navigate this aspect of his life. I'll show him this site , and there is another new one?
Admin Reply by: Bob
I'm pretty sure not one of us with this disorder ever asked to be the way we are. For some of us it's like living in an alien world where people eat things that resemble vomit to us. Your son being told he is not the only one will be a day in his life he will never forget. I suggest being open about his issues only after high school. Children can be so cruel and they will pick on him. Your son is probably gifted in other ways. He may also be on the autisum spectrum somewhere. I'm sure in my case aspebergers is in my genetic code. I have lived 73 years and most of my life has been great but there have been times where my problems with food caused me tons of grief. Two lost marriages because of it. Current wife has been with me 22 years. I told her about my disorder even before we went out on our first date. Bob K
MalloryMallory wrote on February 16, 2021 on 10:05 pm:
Hi! I am 30 years old and so wish I was not a picky eater!
I usually skip breakfast and lunch bc I am not hungry (so I don't even think about it) and I really hate eating when I'm not hungry. But then my body gets mad at me and hurts all of a sudden bc I haven't eaten, but now I don't want to eat because now my stomach hurts 🤦🏻‍♀️
It drives my husband nuts.
I have tried so hard to like different foods. But fruits and every vegetable besides potatoes and corn are just disgusting to me.
Sometimes, eating something I know I like will still turn my stomach if I think about the food- like where it came from, for example. If I'm eating delicious chicken and start (unwillingly!) thinking about how this was an animal and this is it's flesh I'm pulling apart or eating corn on the cob knowing it was outdoors around dirt and manure.
Sometimes I worry there is something wrong with me but it seems like such a silly thing to see a Dr about. I think to myself, just shut up and eat something, and then I'll scour our FULL cabinets and can't bring myself to eat anything I bought.
Admin Reply by: Bob
You should probably consult some doctors to make sure you don't have some sort of gastrointestinal problems. Might even be Gaul bladder. You should also get tested to make sure you don't have any serious deficiencies in your blood. Your issues are not silly. Many people all over the world struggle just like you. Find out what ARFID is Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Entered as a new disorder in the 2013 DSM. Just way too complex to explain on this guest book.
David James WilletDavid James Willet from Fresno wrote on February 13, 2021 on 8:02 pm:
I’ve been a picky eater my whole life and now that I’m 44, I’m afraid that it’s starting to catch up with me. I am a vegetarian and have a host of other issues (Ehlers Danlos syndrome, GERD, Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, Schatzky’s ring, a diaphramatmatic hernia, Kidney stones... and the list goes on) and I definitely have the desire to eat better and get my digestive issues under control, but there are times when I feel like I’d rather do ANYTHING other than eat different foods. A trip to the grocery store can be almost crippling for me. Holiday dinners and work potluck days are mortifying. Traveling is a nightmare. I get so tired of trying to explain it to people and even more tired of people thinking they they can reason or trick me into eating meat or other foods. I feel like I don’t have a healthy relationship with food. Like I don’t eat for the same reasons that other people do, It feels like work. Like it’s a chore. I either don’t really want to eat at all and just do it because my body needs food, or I overeat some junk unconsciously until I aggravate one of my other problems and add to my misery. I live in the heart of one of the most fruit and vegetable laden areas of the country and I can’t even force myself to enjoy them. I mostly have pasta, breads, chips, cheese, and cereals. Texture is a very important factor when I eat. Yogurt is okay if I eat it quickly and try not to think about it; however if there are chunks of fruit in it, I probably won’t eat it. People don’t understand how I could be a vegetarian who hates vegetables; I try to explain that I’m not doing it for health, I just don’t want to eat dead things!

I admit I was skeptical when I read through the guestbook posts at first- not that I didn’t believe people, but that I didn’t think I would get any benefit from reading them. However, after reading a few (and wiping off my tears) I realized that this is a good thing what you are doing here. Thank you.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thanks for your post and I'm sending you a direct invite to our new support group location. You are not alone.
Ryleigh JohnsonRyleigh Johnson from Castle Rock wrote on February 9, 2021 on 5:12 am:
Hi all! I am 18 years old and I have struggled with being a picky eater my entire life. Ever since I was little, food has been my enemy besides the few foods I will eat (potatoes, some meats, some cheeses, etc.). But they all have to be cooked a certain way or taste a certain way for me to really enjoy them. I refuse to eat some meats if they look gross or have too much fat, and occasionally eating pasta will induce a gag reflex, regardless if I was fine 30 seconds prior. I honestly have no idea what is wrong with me. I desperately want to try new foods, but my mind tells me its going to be the end of the world if I do, or the consequences are too great if I try something new. This has now become "I don't want to". It's hard to pin point exactly what I'm thinking when it comes to trying new food, but it is always an aversion to anything new or an automatic no. I won't eat oranges but I'll drink orange juice. I won't combine foods that I thoroughly enjoy separately. I won't try anything that's not labeled "plain" or "original". Fruits and vegetables are a no right off the bat (except for bananas and potatoes).

I have no idea if this is caused by anxiety, but it has always been this way. At this point, it is becoming incredibly embarrassing, and for almost 15 years of people giving me grief about not eating something or not liking something, is starting to hit hard for some reason. Any new restaurant is a nightmare as I flip through menu after menu for something I will eat, otherwise I resort to the kids menu, which I am surprised they still let me order off of. I am at a loss because I have no idea whats causing it, or how to get better with food. Yet this website gives me hope that I don't have to change and that it is possible to thrive as a picky eater!
Admin Reply by: Bob
You like me are probably somewhere on the spectrum. Please look at ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. A real disorder that you never asked to have. Many other types of things could be so much worse. You may be able to improve the number of things you eat but social events and things like having dinner at a friends house will always be a problem. I'm sending you directs invite to our new support group.
JanetJanet from Kansas City wrote on February 4, 2021 on 7:31 pm:
I am 62 years old and just now discovered your website. After reading just four or five of these guestbook posts, it triggered a serious emotional release and I have tears streaming down my face! I guess I didn't realize there are so many others who share this struggle with food, and the shame and embarrassment that goes along with it. I'm so glad I found this support group!! Thank you!!!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Sending you an invite to our support group.
StacieStacie from Algonquin wrote on February 2, 2021 on 12:14 am:
Wow! I am so relieved to know that I am not the only one struggling. I'm 47 and have my handful of safe foods. I cannot even think of putting a new food in my mouth without wanting to gag. I am so embarrassed when we go to family gatherings, weddings, work dinners, Christmas parties, etc. Why is everyone concerned about what I'm eating (or not eating)? I don't concern myself with what anyone else is eating. Then everyone at the table notices and has to ask questions which I don't have answers to.
My coworkers have recorded me trying broccoli and cauliflower only to laugh at me. I have not narrowed it down to texture or smell or flavor. I love cheese, pasta, cheese pizza, cheese fries, nuts! I will eat a thin burger and filet mignon. I used to like chicken but then felt something weird in it. I'll eat yogurt but there cannot be anything in it. I'll drink a smoothie but there cannot be chunks in it. And I won't eat the fruit, let alone vegetables (the ones I tried when I was younger tasted like dirt). When I was a child no one ever told me that I didn't have to eat the gristle or fat on meat. I could go on and on.

I'm sure what I eat isn't good for my health. I don't know how to fix it. And honestly I am scared/paralyzed/embarrassed.
I teared up reading some of the testimonies here. I'm glad I found all of you!
Sierra N McRobertsSierra N McRoberts from Lakeview wrote on January 31, 2021 on 1:16 am:
Hello, Im Sierra. Im a 28yo mother of 4. I have always been a picky eater. Cheese..i hate it. I will only eat it on pizza. I like the fake parm cheese from kraft lol. I will not eat fruits or veggies, except potatoes, because i hate the texture of it. I do like the juices from fruit. Corn. I used to eat only corn on the cob as a kid but now i refuse to eat it because of the texture and somewhat the taste. Depends on how its cooked.

I dont have issues with weight or anything and im pretty healthy actually. I just will not eat foods if it looks gross or if it does look yummy i avoid it because it has more than 2 things i hate in it. I do make sure my kids eat a variety of veggies tho because i dont want them to end up like me. I also will not eat condiments. I will eat BBQ sauce, whoreshire sauce and steak sauce when in the mood :) but the main one likes mayo, ketchup or mustard i will not touch. Ketchup i hate because of taste. Others are because of texture or looks.

I hate it and i actually dont know anyone personally like me.
JasonJason from Berlin wrote on January 26, 2021 on 6:14 am:
Hi everyone! My name is Jason and I am 27 years old. I have been a picky eater for as long as I can remember. The issue I believe that I have is that I am super sensitive to the textures of different foods. Because of this, I can't remember a time when I have eaten a fruit or vegetable(unless you count potatoes!). Unfortunately, nobody ever seemed to understand this and just thought I was doing this on purpose. Thankfully my wife understands, but she finds it hard to help me.

In the last 10 years this has really affected my enjoyment of life. My wife and I love traveling, but I can never truly enjoy a trip because I am always looking for my safe foods when we stop to eat somewhere. It also made things awkward when I first had dinner with my wife's family when we were dating. Thankfully they have accepted me and have adjusted meals to my eating habits (best in-laws ever!). I have also gotten active in OCR sports and running again, but not having the fuel for competing really holds me back in my potential.

I just feel like I am in a race against the clock. My health has been extremely great all these years, but I feel like time is running out and something is going to catch up to me sooner rather than later.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I'm sending you an invite to our new support group pages. I always travel with something I can eat if I'm unable to find anything at our destination. My wife is very understanding and I worship the ground she walks on most of the time. No reason you can't have a long wonderful life. I'm 73 and still ticking.
NicoleNicole from Edmonton wrote on January 16, 2021 on 7:32 am:
I have the absolute worst eating habits and always have. My mom had to make me separate dinners from as young as I could remember and it would consist of the same plain items. I’m now 23, and have had boyfriends and dates describe my eating as “a 7 year olds birthday party menu without the condiments” and I can’t disagree. I want to try new food so bad, but it will not go down. This makes it hard to date and go to family dinners and pray there’s something I’ll eat without being rude. So, it’s time we figure this out.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Start by looking for information about ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder which was added to the DSM in May of 2013. It covers a wide range and if your eating causes you social embarrassment then you probably have it. We have an active support group at another site and I will send you a direct invite.
Abigail LeeAbigail Lee wrote on January 13, 2021 on 3:53 pm:
Hi, I’m 24 and have been a picky eater my whole life. I think the biggest effect it has on me in how anxious I get in situations where there’s going to be food. Sometimes, I just have to not eat and make up an excuse as to why. I get embarrassed ordering meals with loads of the components removed and get my fiancé to do it for me.

The breaking point for me though was looking through menus for my Wedding breakfast and seeing that I couldn’t have ANY of the meals. I don’t want to have to stress about my meal at my own wedding and I really really want to improve and get better.

Luckily, my fiancé is super supportive but I feel so guilty for the plain meals we have and he has to jazz up with some extra ingredients that he can cook separate from my meal. I don’t want the same to happen with our wedding and I just want to feel normal for once.
Admin Reply by: Bob
One of the biggest days in your life should be full of Joy and happiness. It should be a day where you can enjoy every meal without stress or hearing comments from others. No reason why you can't have the exact breakfast you desire on your wedding day. I would also suggest that your fiancé should understand that it is highly likely that your food issues will not improve and he should not think you can be fixed. It's only food and life can throw real problems your way that are way worse. I have been making contact with 1000s of people with the same disorder over the last 20 years and there have not been many treatment success stories. No reason you can't have a long happy life. Make sure you get foods you like at your wedding because it's your day.
Bob K
DeejDeej from Cleveland Ohio wrote on January 13, 2021 on 1:44 am:
My ex wife was very understanding of my picky diet, and she loved me enough to make meals for me along with meals for her for almost 30 yrs. We divorced 12 years ago and I've lived alone since, which makes eating my very limited menu much easier, especially during quarantine when there's no socializing. There are two ladies I'd love to date, and we flirt with each other all the time, but when I look at their FB or IG, they go out with friends to such fancy places and eat Asian, German, Italian, Polynesian... most of which dishes I never even heard of, and gags me just looking at the photos. I've never eaten ANY kind of seafood ever, I gag watching someone eat ribs or KFC with the bones in for example. Pretty sure a fun lady would love to go to an expensive seafood place, and I've checked the menus online and they don't have a single thing on the menu I could even think of ordering other than icewater. I don't even drink alcohol except for a couple beers @ year. It looks like I'll never be able to date, and I will probably die alone, and probably because how long can you live on potato chips, chocolate bars, burgers, bacon, and potatoes. I'm in my late 60s, and right before the pandemic, my doc told me I'm pre-diabetic. Well, EVERYthing I eat is what a diabetic should NOT eat. It's all very VERY depressing. Very.
Admin Reply by: Bob
All I can tell you is the two ladies your flirting with might not be right for you. Here is what I did over twenty years ago after two divorces and losing a girl friend of 7 years. I decided if I ever dated anyone new I would explain to them my food issues before the first date. I also told I would probably never get any better. Well then I met my current wife and after I told her my issues we started dating and we have been married for over 20 years. I'm now 73 and have diabetes which I control using Tresiba and Trulicity. My biggest issue is my kidneys which are down to 29% and dropping slowly. If you are the type of man who would worship the ground your best gal walks on then being up front will reduce your tension and perhaps romance can happen for you. Not to mention as we age our chances and odds get better because we men die sooner than the beautiful women. Sending you a direct invite to our new support group that we moved too last year. Being up front is the only way to go. Just think their are so many other things a person can have that are way worse. You just happen to ARFID. Bob K
VLVL from Bronx wrote on January 12, 2021 on 8:24 pm:
I am in my mid-20s and have the diet best described as a very picky 5 year old. Its always been a bane of my existence, effects relationships, family, friends, etc. Its starting to take a toll on my health with weight gain, ridiculously high triglycerides and I really need more guidance and help.
Admin Reply by: Bob
We have moved the group to groups.io and I will send you a direct invite for the new site. I have always referred to having a 4 year old's dream diet. and I'm only 73. The good news is I made to 73 inspite of all the issues.