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NickNick from Waco wrote on May 23, 2020 on 9:13 pm:
Okay so i know there are picky eaters out there but I’m 21years of age right now and i have always felt alone on my level of pickiness. Everything I eat has go be plain, no texture. If you thought it didn’t look plain there was a extremely high chance I couldn’t eat it. It has been miserable seeing everybody eat and me being alone with no plate so embarrassing. If I eat anything with texture or that isn’t plain I will Gag and throw up without fail since i was a kid. Never forced to eat anything for that very reason and if I did try to eat something that i knew I wouldn’t get along with it was always a terrible experience. Never feels good gaging on bad tasting food until you throw up. Never met anybody close to my pickiness
Admin Reply by: Bob
Well there are 1000s and 1000s just as limited in their food selections as you are. The medical diagnosis for our condition is ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It was entered into the Medical DSM in October of 2013. So you never asked to be the way you are than say someone who is colored blind. You probably have a slightly better chance of improving your food choices which the color blind person does not have. You really would change if you could. But I just wonder how many people in the world would put lets say a dog turd in their months just to look normal. We tend to not see many things as food. Medical professional are still looking for ways to help us. In spite of our problems there is no reason you can't have a wonderful full life. I have found that being up front with our closest friends can help reduce lots of tension for us. Last tip you are probably gifted in other ways and you should take advantage of those gifts. Sending you an invite to our new groups.io support group. Now go out and have a great life.
SunnySunny from Corbett wrote on May 22, 2020 on 5:08 pm:
Hi, I'm actually here for my sister, She'has been having some nutrition problems for the last few years. We're pretty sure this is linked to an auditory processing dysfunction she has, which causes her to have trouble with a lot of tasks like schoolwork, chores, and even constructing meals for herself because processing the steps needed is difficult for her. It also means trying new foods is hard.
We both grew up picky eaters but she never managed to get out of that phase really, though we think it's also because she has a minor texture aversion.
I took a nutrition class not long ago and knowing more about it now I really want to help her get the nutrition she needs.
I've been looking around but I could only find things for little kids. She's almost twenty. This website seems like the best place to get advice, so I figured why not write?
Admin Reply by: Bob
I will be sending you a direct invite to our new support group at group.io and I encourage you to re-post there.
MollyMolly from Sacramento wrote on May 21, 2020 on 2:17 am:
Relieved to have found this group. I’m so avoidant of foods that aren’t in my wheelhouse that I’ll go days without eating. Despite this, I am overweight and really self conscious, and want to find healthier alternatives. I’m so worried it’s a fight that I’ll lose and that I’ll be like this forever. Would love to talk to others about this. :’)
Taylor SpragueTaylor Sprague from Athens wrote on May 16, 2020 on 11:05 pm:
I have always felt alone with my issue of eating. I’m extremely picky and have been this way since I can remember. As I’ve grown older, my anxiety and depression have became apparent my eating has gotten worse. It’s nice to see that I’m not alone in this struggle. I’m excited to find this community and find some answers .
GraceGrace from Toms River wrote on May 15, 2020 on 11:34 pm:
All my life I’ve gotten in trouble for the way I eat or been made fun of. And it’s never ending. What pushed me to search for a group like this is my latest dinner. We ordered pizza but not what I usually get... it’s the square pizza with loaded cheese and sauce spilled all over the top! The bread looks toasted good but that’s it. The cheese looked barely melted. Not happy. And when I opened the box to find that I almost cried. Then got questions and judgement from my family about why I wouldn’t eat it. I just always feel so different and shamed for “eating like a 5 year old.” I’m hoping I can continue to find comfort within this group
Admin Reply by: Bob
Sorry I missed your post. You are not alone and we are here. Going to send you an invite to our new group board.
Bob K
ChelseaChelsea from High Point wrote on May 6, 2020 on 9:16 pm:
THANK YOU for answering a question I have had for the last 25 years. It all makes sense. If I could make this go away right now, I would. If anyone can help me, please let me know. I have been overwhelmed and have even had suicidal thoughts over this issue in the past. Thank you for being here, and making this public. You have helped me much more than you will ever know, just by doing that.
Admin Reply by: Bob
No reason you can't have a great life. Most people with our disorder are gifted in other ways. Warren Buffet comes to mind. It is not you our your parents fault. Glad we could make you feel better.
JessicaJessica from Denham Springs wrote on May 4, 2020 on 5:37 pm:
Good Afternoon,
I am Jessica, I have been born and raised in Louisiana. So you would think that I just love cooked greens and veggies... truth is the only green thing I eat is jalapeno peppers...on a dorito...with cheese.
I am 5 foot 6 and weight almost 300 pounds now, due too antidepressants after the flood of 2016. I am in pain all the time, cant walk correctly due to inflammation all over my body etc...Why is this? because I literally cant eat the right foods. Either the texture makes me gag, they smell like a garbage can, or they just look like vomit. I am 30 years old and right now I cant have kids because of the weight and PCOS... I am at a crossroads in my life where I have to make a choice... keep eating the way I eat, some how loose weight and somehow become a parent then die early or I can make a lifestyle change... I am choosing lifestyle change... Eating as little processed food as possible and eating more food from the produce section of the store... but with the sensory problems that will be a very difficult challenge and one that I may actually loose. I literally feel trapped and doomed to die of obesity... Any with pointers or tips please contact me.
John FunkhouserJohn Funkhouser from Winchester wrote on April 27, 2020 on 11:24 am:
Just found this site glad I found it I really thought I was the only one it's hard to for me to talk about this, most people don't understand that grown man is picky eaters and you can't just flip a switch, it has affected most parts of my life especially relationships they think your just being overgrown mom's boy that won't grow up I hate that I am this way, I grew up in the jehovah cult and it really alienates you from people outside after I left it's hard trying to make friends and be social, being picky make that much worse it very depressing just don't know what to do I don't want be alone this makes hard when your woman think your just immature kid it a man's body, finally someone to talk to about this I wish I found it along time ago
Admin Reply by: Bob
It can ruin every aspect of your life if you let it. Being open about it with new friends can be very helpful. Sending you an invite to our support group. Glad you found us.
DestineeDestinee from Lebanon wrote on April 22, 2020 on 6:23 am:
I havent always been a picky eater. When i was a kid, I guess I would eat anything! But over the years I'd get forced to eat things i didnt want to. So just made me never want to try new things. Also I have a huge problem with texture. (I.E. spaghetti, jello, anything slimy.) I just can't get out of being picky. I can't help it. There is some food that I won't eat, that smells good but looks gross. So I wont even try it.
LeahLeah from Gilbert wrote on April 20, 2020 on 8:51 am:
Hello! I have struggled horribly with food my entire life. People don’t usually understand that it goes so much deeper then just not wanting to try something or being difficult. Trust me, if I could snap my fingers I *completely* would. It rules my life, and it makes me feel horrible. Like I’m an issue. I just got into a new relationship and hopefully he’ll understand one day that it truly is very difficult for me and for many of us to fight this. It’s so cool to see other people that feel this way. Makes me feel a little better knowing that I’m not alone❤️
NaveenNaveen from Mumbai wrote on April 20, 2020 on 1:51 am:
Hi, I am naveen from india.
I have been a picky eater from toddler days.Lately I found out that this trait is running in my family and I got it from my grand mother.One of my uncle's is having the same problem which I suffer and my elder cousin also shares the same habit with me.We three have strong aversion to foods which have yucky texture and strange smell.More over i get really anxious while trying new food items.

while checking different sites regarding this I got the info that this situation of mine is not going to change but really thrilled to find people who are similar to me which I hope will help me to cope with the problem and find solutions to certain extent.
MBMB from Atlanta wrote on April 17, 2020 on 2:18 am:
Hello fellow sufferers! I have a question (and I'll admit to not reading through all the posts to see if this has already been discussed). Are any of you "foodies?" As in "I love food. I will travel somewhere for the food. I think about certain foods all the time. One of my greatest sources of pleasure is food." I used to think I was really unique in that I suffer from ARFID, but as still a foodie. Many of the foods I eat I really love. Obviously, my diet is not as restrictive as many, or this wouldn't be possible. But I saw an article in a magazine (can't recall which one) several years ago titled something like "I'm a picky eater and a foodie!" It described me to a T and I am curious as to how many of us there are.
MBMB from KS wrote on April 15, 2020 on 4:14 am:
I've been a picky eater all of my life. I am still a selective eater at 65. I take these tests online and they guess your age based on what you like. i get age 11. LOL! Seriously though, I have had my bouts with allergies early in life. I had an egg allergy at age 1 and also a peanut allergy (legumes of any kind beans, peas, and peanuts) I cannot eat because I am highly allergic. When I was in 3rd grade the teacher made me eat a Snickers. As I ate it, it smelled horrible and my mouth was burning. So I blame some of my pickiness on allergies. But other things like my dislike of tomatoes is weird because I do like tomato products but not tomatoes. I won't eat salad as I don't like any dressings or lettuce that much. I am not big on Mexican food and forget about Chinese food. Nope. I didn't realize that my pickiness could be a medical disorder (anxiety and or depression) or even possibly related to autism. It has been interesting to read what you all don't like too. I can relate very well. Thanks for having this group out here.
AbbyAbby from Midwest wrote on April 2, 2020 on 12:01 am:
Hi all. I just found this site and I’m amazed, I never knew there was a name for what I’ve experienced, or a group of people suffering the same thing. Family and friends have often made me feel weird and guilty for not liking the same foods as them, and for not wanting to go to certain restaurants. It’s always “my fault” because I’m “just being childish”. So to know that there’s a group of people who know what I go through is so comforting. Thank you for creating this site.
Taylor HendricksTaylor Hendricks from Highlands Ranch wrote on March 9, 2020 on 7:25 pm:
My name is Taylor. I am a 23 year old male who is on the autism spectrum, having Aspergers. Throughout my life I have only been able to eat one food: plain chicken fingers. My diet consists of mostly that and junk food. I also have severe depression and have been struggling with it most of my life. Doctors have said I have a chemical imbalance in my brain which makes it difficult for me to function well in life. I am always depressed and feel like I don’t do anything because I don’t have the energy or strength to. I don’t have a license and stopped going to school and still love with my mother. Every time I choose to do something with my life I always fail and stay stuck in the rut I have dug myself in for years. Recently I have begun taking tiny steps in hopes I can get my life on track this year. I always knew I had to do some ring with my diet in order to effectively make change in my life. However when I try new foods my gag reflex kicks in and makes it near impossible to eat anything new. I looked up eating disorders to try and help me find solutions and I came across an article on The Daily Beast and it made me feel better in knowing that I am not alone with this type of disorder. I really hope to become a part of this community to try and be able to open myself up to new foods because I know that if I continue with my eating habits then it will only get worse for my body in the future. This site has shown me a lot of good resources I will be looking into. Thank you for confirming my fears and letting me know that other people struggle with this too.
AJAJ from Deep South wrote on March 3, 2020 on 1:39 am:
I have been a selective eater all my life. I have learned to cope and places not to go cause of the food they serve. Only a few family members know of my issue. Only one makes a big deal of it just as a butt hole kid tirelessly dogged me in school. Very painful memories! Wanted that dirt bag to be hit by a bus for being so hateful! This is long before bullying was a thing. My relative I just tell her to shut up, if she continues i raise my voice and ask her if she has hearing problems. Basically I shout her down. The smell of some food makes me sick, second is the texture. I still detest going out and having ppl pushing food my way I know I do not eat, saying oh this is so good! And my ALL Time Fav...."you don't know what your missing ", I want to slap the dog $$$$ out of the next person that says that to my face! I have a rule: If it's not on my plate it's not my biz! And with the rise of the "foodies" running around , God help me not to slap anyone.
SarahSarah from Wales, UK wrote on February 10, 2020 on 7:12 pm:
Hey guys!
I am so happy I found this website and forum.
My story:
Since the age of 2 years old I have been unable to eat fruit or vegetables.
I have not been through any trauma, no choking, no being forced to eat foods. It just developed?
I'm 25 years old now and so far have gotten by without! But the older I get and the more I learn about diet and wellbeing the more I know I HAVE to eat them. Until this week I had absolutely no idea it was a type of eating disorder! I just thought I was just plain fussy.
I have ALWAYS tried to eat fruit and vegetables and I have never refused to try something new. But each time the same things happens...i gag, sometimes I puke and then usually I cry out of embarassment.
I am not scared of fruit or veg, If they are on my plate i just simply avoid them or pick them out (or give them to someone else).I just physically cannot eat them.
For me now i would like to eat much more healthily and it sounds crazy...but i LOVE animals and id love to be a vegetarian as i do feel guilt when eating meat!
My boyfriend is a pescatarian and i actually tried this with him for about a month eating meat alternatives such as quorn BUT I got super sick from it because I was no longer getting the vitamins and minerals from meat. I have tried making smoothies but to be honest... I really dont like them! I LOVE the taste and flavour of fruit...mango is my favorite but I cannot physically eat just the tiniest slice of mango without gagging which again SUCKS.
I survive, I make my own foods for example: lasagne with tomato puree but no diced tomatoes, diced onions etc in there. I also take a s**t ton of vitamins.
Eating out at a restaurant can be interesting BUT I do manage - again if there are vegetables on my plate i just pick them out.
Overall though... I HATE BEING LIKE THIS! And I have absolutely no explanation why this has happened in my life? I'm 4 ft 11 so very petite (most likely because i do not eat fruit or vegetables) but ive never been too overweight.
If anyone has experienced the same thing with not being able to eat fruit/veg please get in touch I would love to hear from you or any of you. This forum and website is amazing and im so thankful it exists because it does make you realise that wherever you are in the world, your not alone.
Sending all my love to you fellow picky eaters from the UK!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Glad you found our site and you are not alone. Many others suffer with our disorder and none of us ever asked to be the way we are. Many of us have gotten really good at hiding it from most of the people we come in contact with and we do suffer lots of social embarrassment. But in scheme of things there are so many other disorders a person can have that are way worse than not being able to eat a wide variety of foods.
JessicaJessica from Bogotá wrote on February 7, 2020 on 12:43 am:
Just yesterday, I realized there's a name for what I go through on a daily basis. I am a college student from the states studying abroad in Bogota and I have been struggling with this since leaving my home after high school. For the first two years in college, I stuck to small amounts of "safe" foods, like fruits, rice, plain noodles, chicken tenders, fries, some vegetables if cooked, mac n cheese, grilled cheese, plain potato chips, french bread and chicken noodle soup. Nothing on a bone EVER. I never try new things, I gag when I don't like a food texture or taste (I can't help it), and I have no appetite most of the time unless it is one of my favorite foods. I have been super picky since high school and rarely eat throughout the day. I didn't realize I had a problem though. I just thought it was my taste palette--that there was nothing I could do about it. Then last night my boyfriend and I were talking about my diet. He was concerned that I get sick a lot (pretty much every week since we started dated a year and a half ago) and he brought up that I need to eat more. I googled "picky eater" and Selective Eating Disorder popped up. After two different websites, all of my symptoms matched: texture fears, choking, gagging, allergies to random foods like avocados (and yes I have had terrible allergic reactions to foods when out at restaurants and had to leave to get Benadryl). I honestly would forget to eat because I just didn't feel hungry. I feel terrible every time I eat because I can never find something I like at any restaurant (then again sometimes that is easier if I only like one thing so I don't have to scour the menu forever)... I can never finish a whole plate of food regardless of the amount. I don't know why, I just physically can't take another bite. The woman I live with in Bogota tries to force feed me foods that I don't like and there's a language barrier too, so that's an issue. She is constantly making me eat all of the proteins (chicken because that's all I will eat) on my plate and I feel so nauseous after and gag. I can never swallow new foods, I always have to spit them out. It's really difficult for me to even take a bite sometimes because I know I won't like it and have the horrible taste in my mouth for a while. This is terrible, but I feel like I starve myself just because I cannot find a single thing that I like to eat. Most of the time, I only eat half of my meal. This is most annoying when other people make the food, such as at an outing or party, because I feel guilty for not finishing it. They ALWAYS say something like "you don't like it?" or "You are so skinny, you need to eat it all." Ugh...not sure how to proceed. Just glad that I know what is going on now and it's not just me being annoyingly picky. If it annoys anyone the most, it's me.
BeckyBecky from Greenfield wrote on February 4, 2020 on 2:40 pm:
I just found this while trying to find healthy options to all the foods on meal plans I simply won’t/can’t eat. I am struggling to lose weight and eat healthy. Since I can remember I have issues with food textures and smells. Mashed anything, yogurt, bananas, cooked orange foods (this is getting easier slowly), casseroles freak me out- it’s always felt odd to be this picky. When I was a child my dad had the rule of your plate must be cleaned which meant chocking down foods I can’t stand and sometimes throwing up afterwards. My mom tried to help by eating some for me or keeping off my plate. I am almost 50 years old and my mom still buys me separated plates to help. I do most of the cooking at home So I can be sure all the foods are going to be once I eat. I have say foods I ordered restaurants and never order anything that can have a gravy so they can’t slide to touch my other food. It’s amazing to have a website to see that I’m not the only one like this.
GageGage wrote on February 2, 2020 on 12:39 pm:
Hi. I am someone who was once an extremely picky eater but has now personally overcome this condition and has now added quite a few new foods to my palate. My goal in this post is to help others be able to do the same for themselves.

What I learned in my personal experience with picky eating was that what I deep down hated the most was not actually the food itself, but rather the whole "dinner table" experience that was thrust upon me as a child by my parents.  They are good parents overall, but they unforunately failed when it came to providing me with a stress-free and fun dinner table experience while growing up.  They didn't understand how scared I felt in those moments at the dinner table when there was "unsafe" food served to me, and it was always a lose-lose situation. If I wasn't completely opposed to the new food, they forced me to eat more of it than I was comfortable eating (to the point where I then formed a bad relationship with that particular food that I could've eventually liked eating had I been given the chance to slowly become accustomed to it on my own terms and comfort level). If I was completely opposed to the new food, they'd make negative comments about how small of a bite I took and made me feel like it was my fault that I didn't like the food. I then began giving an "it's alright" response to new foods in an attempt to avoid the two extreme before-mentioned responses, but then after a few times of that, they'd complain "you ALWAYS say that" and then I hated hearing that too, but it was the lesser of the "evils", so I kept going with that response, which eventually affected my ability to stand up for myself, voice my opinions, and etc. because that's how I began to deal with other life issues as well. I also had very little social life for twenty some years because of this condition. It's a cruel thing to go through, and like anything else, people who haven't gone through it for themselves simply don't understand how it feels and the effects that their "just eat it" (and similar) comments have on those people who are going through that.

I grew up thinking that this was my own fault, and was told that it was my own fault, so I could never overcome it because I felt like I was constantly failing at every turn. I had very low self esteem. The moment that I started overcoming my aversion to new foods was the moment that I realized that this condition was not my fault in any way, and realized that it manifested in me due to my parents' causing me to have a terrifying experience at the dinner table every time that I had no "safe" foods served to me and wasn't allowed to become accustomed to new foods at my own pace and comfort level. Since realizing this, I have now slowly added quite a bit of new foods to my palate. Still hardly any vegetables, but that's okay since I want to eat mainly a meat based diet anyway.

So, I then on my own (so there was no external pressures being placed upon me) started trying very very small amounts of new foods along with my "safe" foods. If I was completely opposed to them, I wouldn't try them again. If I was not completely opposed to them, but didn't enjoy them, I ate the small bit that I took and left it at that. Then, nice time, I'd take the same small bit of that same food again and eat it again. I'd repeat that process until I became more comfortable with the texture and taste of the food to where I would slowly take a slightly larger portion of it (again, at my own pace and comfort level) until I eventually began eating it like anyone else who liked it would eat it. Then once I'd "master" one food, I'd do that with the next food and so on. It is easiest to do this when sticking to very similar foods, such as changing from French fries to hashbrowns, or from fries to mashed potatoes. This allows for particular textures to become more palatable, then one can move on to other foods with similar textures, such as from mashed potatoes to applesauce, or from hamburger to pulled pork.

It really comes down to being an intense fear that needs to be identified and alleviated in a slow and safe way, as I have explained.

Hope this helps people who are going through this "hell on Earth".
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thanks so much for your story. If it helps just one person who read our guest book it will be well worth the time you took to share your story with us.