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DarcyDarcy from Philadelphia wrote on December 10, 2015 on 3:56 pm:
After recently doing some online research, I read about Selective Eating Disorder and I believe I have SED. Like most of us here, my parents and I thought it was a childhood habit or a strange unique quirk I just never grew out of! I had never met anyone like me before and have felt so alone with it most of my life. It's incredibly healing and powerful to read everyone's stories so thank you all for sharing! We really aren't alone, and there is nothing wrong with us. For whatever reason, this is just a set back we were born with, and hopefully together we can help each other deal with it better in our own lives. I'll share a bit of my story in the hopes of adding to all of yours! I just turned 21 yesterday, and after all that time I was finally motivated to research what was going on with my extreme levels of picky eating during this past semester (I'm a junior in college) studying abroad in China. I came to China because I am studying Chinese language and culture for my future career. It was a wonderful decision for my education and personal interests, but Chinese food includes very very few of my safe foods. I am a vegetarian (used to eat bacon and pepperoni only, but eventually decided to give them up although I love the taste to become a full vegetarian as I am also grossed out by the idea of eating dead animals), and on top of that I only eat certain fruits and vegetables uncooked and without dressing, cheese pizza, fries, plain pasta with only certain kinds of sauces or butter, eggs or tofu but only prepared in particular ways, some Western breakfast foods like pancakes or cereal or oatmeal, lots of dairy products like yogurt and cheese, and some desserts. I won't eat the vast majority of menu items in your average American restaurant because like most of us I have a lot of specific preferences even for my safe foods, so at a Chinese restaurant you can forget about it. I usually use the full extent of my Chinese language capabilities to explain that I literally want noodles without soup or veggies or meat, which is very hard for Chinese waiters to wrap their heads around. Or I go the simple route and only eat a plain bowl of white rice... which for me isn't very filling or satisfying as a whole meal. The hardest part hasn't just been finding food I feel comfortable eating in China, but also finding social acceptance. Unlike some of us, I have been extremely lucky to have a family that has been incredibly supportive without being enabling in an unhealthy way of my food preferences. My friends in high school and college and current boyfriend of three years are also all very accepting - they sometimes tease or make jokes but ultimately try to understand and respect me as I am. However, in my study abroad program in China, I am very frequently in social situations with lots of other students who aren't friends of mine at Chinese restaurants where my diet is very very publicly displayed - and of course, noticed and picked apart by other students. At first I can try to cover it up as "I'm just a vegetarian," but it quickly shows that there's much more going on when everyone tries to help by pointing out lots of vegetarian dishes and realizes that I don't want to eat any of those either. People in the program have been gossiping and misunderstanding my diet a lot, and I suspect that it was one reason I wasn't able to maintain the first group of friends I was a part of during the semester. Luckily, I found a new group who were much more understanding and not at all bothered by my diet, but it was still very difficult to face all the social pressure and public conversations from strangers my age about my eating habits where I knew that they really were judging me. In reading others' stories, I have seen that one of the most common threads among us is that many are afraid to eat around other people - especially as we get older and have to maintain a more "normal" and professional appearance - and will do anything to avoid those situations. I am a very outgoing and extroverted person, so I have always tried to be relatively open about my eating habits with strangers even when it feels extremely embarrassing or difficult to be honest about. I often cope by making fun of myself in front of new acquaintances to make my diet seem more acceptable through humor and an ice-breaker topic rather than something to cover up completely. But the reality is that it's just another coping mechanism like avoiding eating with people at all, and sometimes those self-effacing strategies and attempts at humor still don't work. Because just as people can be ignorant or insensitive about race, religion, disabilities, one's body type, or other characteristics that distinguish people from each other, there will always be people who do not understand that our way of eating is not some casual choice or a lack of maturity. Trying new foods for some of us is terrifying and sometimes seems impossible - and that is a very real thing. We are all doing the best we can for our health and our lives, and our happiness is also very important within that! Never forget that you are wonderful, and so much more than what you feel comfortable eating and so much more than what anyone may choose to think of you! For me, talking to and hearing from all of you has already made such a big difference just in the past two weeks of discovering this community. So thank you! Keep sharing and keep loving yourself :)
Admin Reply by: Bob
We are so very glad we have been able to help you. We are also glad you are here with us now to share stories about your life.

Bob K
JustinJustin wrote on December 6, 2015 on 9:24 am:
I've heard of other people with this disorder. Somebody's cousin or a friend of a friend. I've never talked with anyone else who has it though so I'm curious to join the online community. I'm 23 and I'm in my first year of grad school working for a Ph.D. in psychology. I was a bit chubby in high school and the beginning of college, but I started eating things that were in my food range, but that were healthier and I started working out pretty regularly so I now feel like I'm adequately in shape. I'm lucky to not be as extreme as some others on here, but I have similar experiences. Eating at summer camp was a nightmare. If I'm in a place where I can't get my safe foods I'll starve. I lost about 10 pounds in 8 days one time. I've always felt like I had this big secret I had to hide that no one could know about, but it was just awful because if you're around people long enough, eventually they find out. You can't really hide this. Luckily I can eat fruit, I love fruit actually, berries are one of my favorites, but they're difficult to get in the winter. I do cheese bread (no tomato sauce), some nuts, hotdogs, scrambled eggs, then most of the stuff that is more typical for people with SED. Peanut butter is my go to though, it gets me through life. A few things have happened recently that would be nice to talk about and they've made me look around for some answers. 1. I am so thankful that this is now in the DSM, it feels so much better to be able to tell people this is a real thing and that I'm not a freak or choosing to be this way. 2. This has always been a great source of shame for me, but I just wouldn't go on dinner dates or relatives/friends parents thought I was weird, nothing too awful, but now I'm in graduate school where I'm expected to go out for lunches and dinners with people and it's affecting my professional life and I'm just starting in this program. I want to try and act like an adult. 3. Reading that no one has ever really overcome this. I don't know if that's true, but it would make sense to me. I don't understand how I could fix this. Sure I could branch out a little, try some new things, be able to stomach them, but it would never be routine and I'd never be able to branch out that far. 4. I have depression and anxiety. Recently I'm wondering if food is at the core of both those issues. I'm always tired and I think if I could get the right supplements and modify my diet a little then maybe I would have more energy. 5. I visited a friend outside of Chicago a few months ago. We went out to dinner with his brother and one of his coworkers. I'm used to going out to dinners with people and explaining, I typically don't mind. My friend and his brother knew, but the coworker started asking questions, then more questions, and he started getting rude with it. At one point he pulled out his phone and started taking pictures so he could send shots to his friends of the kid who would die from heart failure by 28. He was a loser, but it still hurt a lot to be attacked like that. Felt shame at first then a lot of pent up anger. About an hour later he brought it up again and I immediately started unloading on him. Eating has never been enjoyable for me, I do it because I have to. But it'd be nice to feel comfortable in my own skin and not hate myself because of this condition
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Justin I do hope you join our Yahoo support group. I think we can help you feel better about yourself. While cures seem to be few it is possible to learn to tolerate new things that might help you in your professional life. That doesn't mean you will learn to love new foods. You will be able to look more normal in formal dining events. The sound of clanking dishes at a banquet tend to give me the creeps. It is also funny how many people that have what we have are gifted in other ways. So it's not all bad. Take Warren Buffet he likes to live on candy and 5 cokes a day.
EmmaEmma from Swindon England wrote on December 4, 2015 on 1:52 am:
There is probably nothing worse then when someone tells you your gonna have all these health problems or the most annoying of all is "you'll grow out of it" "taste buds change". I am 23 years old now and from a very early age maybe 3 I stopped eating vegetables, I haven't touched one since! I can't even touch foods that I don't like with my bare hands! I've always been intrigued as to why I can't but I guess there's some psychological reason behind it I just can never put my finger on exactly what happened! I think knowing your not the only one is so helpful and does not make you feel so secluded as going out to restaurants with friends, family etc can be extremely traumatic so I thank this site for existing xx
SarahSarah from Las Vegas wrote on December 3, 2015 on 8:26 pm:
Why did I not find this site ages ago?!?!?! This is SO refreshing to read all of these stories very similar to mine! I am 36 years old and I am a picky eater. Always have been. My mom had to feed me beef babyfood until I was about 3-4 years old. After that, she would add a raw egg to my Carnation instant breakfast shake in the blender so I would get protien. My dad would always force me to eat veggies/fruit when I was growing up, so I have tried many things... and there are just many things I do NOT like - at all! Like to the point of gagging or feeling like throwing up if I eat or even think about eating... namely, fruits and veggies. I at least eat one veggie: carrots and 2 fruits: apples and bananas. But I don't even fully enjoy eating those. They are the only ones barable enough for me, that I feel like I HAVE to incorporate them into my diet. I can't stand any kind of seafood. But I do love one thing - MEAT! I joke that I swear I may have been a carnivorous dinosaur in my past life lol. Most everything I order, whether it be fast food or restaurants, I usually have to special order and it is so annoying! I am very lucky that I have been with my husband since I was 16 and he is very understandable about how I am, although, he still (nicely) tries to get me to try new things now and then. He is the chef in our home and sometimes he uses the food processor to "hide" things in his cooking lol but he makes things the way he knows I will like it. However, he worries about my health. I admit, the older I am getting, I get more worried too. I especially worry about my weight. I was always a healthy weight growing up (on the skinny side as a child), but since the weight gain of having babies, I find it hard to diet to lose weight, because I simply just don't like a lot of healthy foods. I am not severely over weight, but I would love to be back down to where I was. Luckily, I had very healthy pregnancies and have two super healthy boys (ages 4 & 9) - who are not nearly as picky as me - thank God! I am so glad I found a place here where I feel people can read my story and hopefully relate to it. It is so hard when people don't understand why you don't like certain foods. I hate potlucks at work, I get anxiety when eating at new places or with new people, etc... I just wish people could understand - this is not something that I chose. It is not something that is within my control. Eating should be an enjoyable thing. If I don't like something, I am not going to eat it just because it is supposed to be "normal." I do take vitamins to help supplement things I don't get from my aversions... I guess I just wish there was more I can do. Thank you for letting me get all of this out! It tends to "eat" away at me now and then! (no pun intended lol!)
Renato GaricaRenato Garica from Brasilia, Brazil wrote on December 1, 2015 on 11:57 pm:
Firstly I need to talk that It's the first time I wrote or talk about that with someone that I even known, and I'm a little scared, also because English is not maternal language . My name is Renato, I have 19 and I live in Brasilia, capital city of Brazil and I think I'm a picky eater, but anyone psychologist said that, and I know since I was 16, when I search materials in English explain this. Before that, I just thought I was weird, mad or something like that. In my country, it's so few persons that known about it, even the psychologists never heard about the picky eaters. Some people though something like "he just don't like it" but is more than that, I'm really afraid with eating food and his situations, like eat something new or go to a dinner with friends, and I always avoid this situations, like barbecue parties. Even for don't eat anything, I feel bad with the smells; another person’s eating it and asking if I don't want to eat. I don’t like to eat out because I have an impression that are everyone observing me. In the majority of food, I feel disgusting. Every time when someone asked why I don't eat something, I answered that I’m vegetarian, but it’s not true, I don’t even eat vegetable at least. Brazilian people have the culture to eat rice and beans all the meals, and I hate it. I eat sometimes because my parents and doctors that is good for my health and I need these vitamins; so I eat as a medicine. I hate the culture feed of my country, the typical food’s in general, and seems the persons persuades you to eat these foods. I just feel better of “safe” when I visit my relatives in US once out of two years. Seems for me that here don’t have the same variety of foods, and when go the supermarket here I think that I can’t eat anything, in opposite when go the o supermarket in United States I think that I really can anything or at least a good part. It’s really good know that have another person’s like me.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Renato We have several people from your great county of Brazil in our Yahoo support group. If you join our group perhaps you can meet them. You are not alone and you have lots of friends from all over the world in our support group.
Bob K
RachelRachel from England, Essex wrote on November 29, 2015 on 2:03 am:
It's nice to know I'm not the only one who eats worse than a 4 year old. I'm 19 now and at university, and I still eat worse than a baby. I eat more than 5 things but my mum always jokes that my diet resembles the colour yellow/brown: chips, crackers, chicken etc. I could literally tell you an average days food consumption: Coco pops and Ribena for breakfast; a plain ham (procest) sandwich with no butter, a strawberry or raspberry yogurt with no 'bits' in it, and again Ribena or squash for lunch; and chicken and chips with salt, and Ribena or, lemon or orange squash for dinner - Oh and a pile of salt! I also eat a lot of plain tuc biscuits (salty crackers) and then add salt to them.

I do eat some other things but that's the base of it all. When I was a baby I had acid reflux and my tonsils were too big, so I threw up about 10 to 14 times a day until I was two when I had my tonsils taken out. I don't remember this but it's probably the root of my problem.

The annoying thing with my diet, is that it's out of fear. I know its irrational and I have no exact reason for it. When I see a new food it's like my brain just says 'nope'. I think my brain overanalyse the food a bit. When I see a new food I'm usually like; that looks, smells, and feels weird, and that's before I've even tried to try it. With some CBT I made a little progress; I know love real chicken 'a.k.a' not procest; roast potatoes; I can sometimes eat a small portion of cabbage if I eat it with chicken or roast potatoes covered in salt; I tried one meat ball on it's own; I tried a bit of a strawberry but hated the texture; a bit of lettuce in between chicken, which I think I could try again in bread or chicken; I tried one pea which I spat out... Yeah when I say I've tried something it usually means I took a microscopic piece and put on my tongue or in my mouth for a few seconds.

It annoys me so much when people say 'why don't try it?' - If it were that easy for me I would have done that already. I guess I can understand, it's a hard thing to understand, I mean I don't really understand. I wish I could eat 'normally' or least healthily, but I don't know how :(

If I don't change I won't be able to do so much. I won't let my self have kids, as I know that my diet could lead them to be born with health problems, and that even if they weren't they would my role model my eating behaviour and I couldn't put them through that. I can't really go on dates cause, it would be a bit embarrassing to go to a restaurant and be like 'I'll have the chicken nuggets and chips please. Hold the peas and beans. It's gonna cause me some serious health problems, like diabetes or a heart attack.

To be honest though I think I'm afraid of most things. It doesn't really matter if I couldn't go on dates, even if I ate like and adult, cause I wouldn't even know if I liked someone. Plus apart from once when I was 7 which I don't remember, I've never even kissed anyone. I dated someone for 5 days once when I was 13/14, we held hands one time cause everyone wanted us to. We spoke less in those 5 days than we did normally, and I didn't see or talk to him for two of those days cause it was the weekend. I'm afraid to do anything, let alone anything more serious if you know what I mean. (*sigh*) I'm hopeless... I could go on and on about the things I haven't done. It's quite depressing to struggle to find a reason for wanting to live - if you've read this, I'm sorry for 1. going on for ages and 2. putting a downer on your day, unless your a psychopath and get happiness off others pain, in which case "your welcome".

P.S. If you have any advice I'd love to hear it! Hope you don't get hit by a bus 😀
Admin Reply by: Bob
Hold on. Even if you never learn to eat anything new for the rest of your life there is no reason why you can't have a very happy long life. You have a disorder you never asked to have and you would change if you could. Your brain just doesn't recognize many foods as food. Many women in our support group have had very healthy babies who in most cases turn out to be normal eaters. There is some evidence to suggest that it can travel through our genes. But you need to cheer up your only getting started at 19 years old. You are not alone there are many people that have it. Go out and have a great life. Come and discuss this with our Yahoo support group. Bob K
AmandaAmanda from Brattleboro wrote on November 27, 2015 on 8:28 pm:
My family would always get frustrated with me because I never grew out of my strange eating habits even though I would try again and again but couldn't keep from gagging.
People would always give me weird looks when everything I order is from the kids menu.I hated family gatherings because my family would give me weird looks when all I could eat is vanilla yogurt and rolls. I'm so happy this website exists and that I'm not alone! My husband has helped me so much and has me slowly adding new foods to my diet.
Lauren LeathermanLauren Leatherman from Van Wert wrote on November 27, 2015 on 6:09 pm:
Wow! This is such a cool site. I have been a life-long picky eater. A large part of my picky eating is that I am a textural eater. I've been in counselling before to try and combat my picky eating to no prevail. I was writing a psychology report about phobias and figured I would look up the word for fear of trying new foods and I found my way here. it is refreshing to know that I am not alone in being the person that only eats cranberry sauce and turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. It is also refreshing in a way to know that I could be worse. I am really happy to have found this page and it will definitely become a bookmark of mine.
DerynDeryn wrote on November 26, 2015 on 9:54 am:
I'm so glad to have found this place! Hat tip to for publishing an article by a sufferer. I thought I was the only one, but it seems not -- and I feel fortunate that I'm not the worst off. I can usually find at least one dish at a restaurant that is edible to me, and if someone is eating scrambled eggs, soup, chili, or tuna (triggers) in my presence, I will only throw up in my mouth and not onto them. Thank you all for helping me feel like I'm not the only pea in my pod.
DaveDave from Bomaderry wrote on November 26, 2015 on 12:23 am:
Im a 24 yr old male in australia who cant eat alot, i dont go out to dinners and its been really hard on my health particularly after leaving high school because you dont reliase how much walking you do around school.
I just wanted to thank you all for making me feel less alone and abnormal for the way i eat, im trying my hardest to do better but its just nice to know im not a freak.
BrittanyBrittany wrote on November 24, 2015 on 6:21 am:
Wow. I'm almost 21 and I have been struggling my whole life with this. With thanksgiving coming up, it had me thinking. So I just googled adult picky eaters and I can't even begin to explain how happy and relieved I am that there's other people just like me. I honestly felt so alone and embarrassed. I get anxiety when it comes to social eating situations. I absolutely dread when I get older and go to my significant others thanksgiving with his family. People have always made me feel like my eating habits are an inconvenience which is why I felt so alone. I literally started crying years of joy in just knowing I'm not the only one like this. Thank you.
LeanneLeanne from Leeds wrote on November 22, 2015 on 3:18 pm:
Yes thank you for this safe place!! I've always been picky with food. I thought it was due to being in control after my parents divorced when I was 7, However my mum tells me I was picky even before that. My young nephews seem to have the issue too. Which sadistically makes me feel better, that it's more of a genetic problem rather than me being the problem.
I've always been made to feel like I'm a nuisance but I have a fear of trying new food like I think it tastes bad before I've tried it. I'm scared that I would never get rid of the taste. I know it's irrational but I can't help how I am. Because this is me, I eat fruit and veg so I can be healthy I'm just not very varied when it comes to choosing a meal. I have got better, I do think that is down to surrounding yourself with the right non judging people who'll making feel at ease rather than shamed
MaddieMaddie wrote on November 21, 2015 on 2:10 am:
Ashee, I agree with you completely when it comes to thanksgiving. If you're a macaroni person like me, you might try the fried macaroni appetizer at California pizza kitchen. It's like macaroni surrounded by the breading from fried chicken.

I've noticed quite a lot of us selective eaters commenting about a fear or embarrassment of eating with other people, which makes me think maybe these food aversions might have something to do with social anxiety. While I'm able to eat in front of people, and don't avoid social situations because of food, I know I definitely have a hard time enjoying food if everyone makes a big deal about it, even if it's a food I like. If I know I'm going to be somewhere where other people decide the food options, I tend to bring along some backups just in case there aren't any plain bread rolls. (Weddings are a nightmare with all that "fancy" catered food) I think a significant part of the food issue is that we picky people don't want to feel like outcasts over what we eat. The more attention people put on us, the more our appetite diminishes. It's like being stared at while you're trying to sleep- you just can't get comfortable. In my attempts to acquire a taste for new foods, I've found trying things when I'm completely alone has been far more successful than trying things around other people. I encourage all of you to keep trying to find new things to eat. It may be difficult, but every success is worth the effort. You may have to try foods that some normal eaters would shy away from, but it's worth it. (I was feeling particularly brave one day and discovered that my mouth accepts breaded shrimp of all things, while I still can't handle the chewy texture of ham) Travel might also help: being in a foreign environment makes your brain more willing to accept unfamiliar things of many kinds. I hope you all find new and wonderful foods to eat!
MaddieMaddie wrote on November 21, 2015 on 1:11 am:
I'm a somewhat picky eater- not to the extent of health problems, but I struggle with all fruits, all vegetables, and some meats. Most restaurants seem to feel a need to make dishes more complex than they need to be (especially when it comes to macaroni, which is constantly given hot spices). I always feel awkward at family get togethers because of my eating habits. My extended family doesn't understand the problem, and they end up making me feel even more uncomfortable by pointing out the fact that I refuse to eat some foods. They are always saying, "just try it, it's good" about things that just don't look or smell edible to me. It's extraordinarily difficult to defeat the gag reflex I often get when trying a new food, so I always resist trying new things in social situations. I have, however, successfully chewed and swallowed corn, carrot, pea, a few blueberries, and small pieces of broccoli. I've also developed an acceptance of marinara sauce (although I still don't enjoy it). I still have a hard time chewing fruits or vegetables- it's really the texture that bothers me. I have found three ways to try things that don't trigger a gagging episode for me: swallowing small things whole, adding an unfamiliar flavor to soup, and a tactic where I try something way outside my comfort zone (like a vegetable), and then eat a whole meal that is still out of my normal range of foods, but closer to what I am accustomed to (like pasta with marinara sauce). The only other thing I know of that helps is to make sure you're intensely hungry before trying something new. Even steamed vegetables start to look delicious when you're in the midst of a hunger induced headache. If you're one of the people who only eats pasta plain or with butter, I suggest you try melting just a little bit of butterkase cheese over some noodles. It's a very mild cheese, with a buttery flavor. Swiss and gouda are also good mild cheeses. If flavor is what trips you up, try learning to play any instrument with a reed. New woodwind reeds taste pretty bad, so if you can get past that to play some music, you can get past most flavor issues.
AsheeAshee from San Marcos wrote on November 12, 2015 on 7:36 pm:
I'm so happy to find an actual support group for this. I'm 22 and all my life I've been told I'm spoiled, or that I will grow out of my picky eating but it never happened. A lot of times what other people call food just doesn't look or smell edible in any way to me. I HATE eating in public or ordering food in front of people because they always give me weird looks when everything I order is from the kids menu or "plain & dry". I hate Thanksgiving, that's always just family giving me weird looks when all I can eat is mac & cheese and rolls. I'm so so so so happy this place exists, thank you for a safe place.
MarthaMartha from San Antonio wrote on November 12, 2015 on 5:10 pm:
I was finally driven to find 'support' because I am seriously considering taking off work tomorrow because it is our annual Thanksgiving luncheon. I work for a small company and everyone brings a dish, dessert, etc. and there are many new people that have joined our company since last Thanksgiving that don't know about my 'issues.' I'm already dreading all the questions I'll get when people see me with only three things on my plate while everyone else's are overflowing. "Oh, don't you like green bean casserole?" or "Oh, yams are delicious! Why don't you like them?" Seriously, after 50 years of this I'm just so tired of feeling like an outcast.
BrittanyBrittany wrote on November 12, 2015 on 8:18 am:
Hello. My name is Brittany and I am 23 years old. Stumbling across your website is sort of like a godsend to me. I've been crying as I read, finally realizing I am not alone in this struggle. For as long as I can remember, I have had a strong aversion to most fruits, vegetables, and seafood, but not due to taste. The texture of these foods is simply too much for me to bear. I can handle cooked apples, bananas (on occasion), potatoes and onion rings (only because the crunchy outside masks the onion texture). Lettuce is a huge no-no for me. No matter how appetizing a salad may look, I can not even think of trying it. If there is a tiny shred of lettuce on a hamburger or taco, I know it immediately. This has proved extremely difficult for me and I want to see what I can do to overcome this massive obstacle.

I am so happy to have found your website and look forward to reading all of your stories. Thank you.
KayleeKaylee from Eagan wrote on November 11, 2015 on 5:34 am:
Hello everyone,
Recently my picky eating has gone to new levels. I have a very short list of about 8-10 food that I will eat. I do not try new foods, and also do not consume meats. The last month has been more difficult for me. If I am not in the mood for any of my 8-10 foods that I normally eat, then I will go days without eating. I eat again once I have found myself craving a food I enjoy. Through those days I do get hungry, and very frustrated with myself when my body would rather go hungry. When this happens I am often feeling very down and depressed, and also very emotional. Does anyone else have a similar issue with their eating habits? If so, how are you dealing with it? Should I considering talking to my doctor? Looking for anyone to help.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Some people live to eat and many of us eat to live. Sounds like you are stuck in the eat to live side of things. At the very least you need to find some way to get something in your stomach each day. You might want to try Ensure or Boost which aren't bad if they are very cold.

That's what I do when I don't feel like I want to eat. You must feed your body so you can be the best you can be. If you don't you could be in big trouble in a very short time span.

Bob K
AngelaAngela from Edinburgh wrote on November 9, 2015 on 4:49 pm:
Hello all x. I found this website doing another frantic search on the internet for ways to "cure" myself. Long story short, i had some reactions to foods 3 years ago & after many meds, miss diagnosises, i have been diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder. The problem is, i was told it was allergies in the beginning and i have eaten the exact same foods day in day out at the exact same time each day. I eat a total of 5 things including butter. I havent had a veg fruit or anything containing sugar for a total of 3 years now. I cant shake the fear to try anything, ive seen specialists, dieticians and no one can help me. I have a complete fear of symptoms returning like swallowing difficulty & excessive mucus production to the point of choking. I cant shake it and i cant believe its not in fact allergies but all functional now. Ive lost a total of 5 stone and now struggle to fit into a size 4 uk clothing. Theres no joy to life, i had my own cake business which i lost last year due to this. I cook every day for my family, smell the food lovingly, pray for the day i can eat "normal" again, but it never comes. I have a panic attack just thinking about attempting to try something in my mouth. My doctors want to prescribe anti depressants but ive resisted. Im also afraid to take any kind of medication at all. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. Its good to know im not alone as we just dont fit the "norm" of bullemia, anorexia ect. Thanks for reading x
Admin Reply by: Bob
This is very interesting to me. So for most of your life you ate as a normal person and only after your illiness did you start limiting the foods you can or will eat. Sounds to me like something in your brain was damaged and it is also the part of our brains that had this defect for most of us from birth. I wonder does a lot of the food now appear to you as something that is not food? I hope you can join our Yahoo group so we can discuss your issues with us more. We may be able to help each other understand more fully why we have so many problems with food. Bob k
MattMatt from Maryland wrote on November 8, 2015 on 8:48 pm:
Hi, I'm 49 and have been picky about food my whole life.
Thankfully my parents never pushed food or punished me for not eating everything, but if I stayed with relatives, they would try to punish me for it.
Asparagus? Yuck!
They would pester me to try it, or tell me that I'm “not getting up from the table until I cleaned my plate” or the ridiculous "we'll put it in the fridge and you'll eat it for breakfast" crap. It got so I didn't want to visit with them anymore, even though I loved playing with my cousins, I just didn't want to deal with the importance on food that they seemed to stress over and the stress it was putting on me.
As a kid I only liked only a few vegetables like peas, carrots, celery(sometimes if I felt like it), corn, potatos, sweet potatoes. But now I eat a lot more variety like all beans, green beans, spinach, eggplant(parmesan only), brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, okra, zucchini, cucumber, tomatoes(yes it’s a fruit) and baby spinach and lettuces.
Back then I had some texture issues also, like strawberries. I loved the flavor of strawberries in ice cream or jelly but I couldn’t stand to eat one raw. It was slimy and full of those bothersome little seeds. I could only make my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with fruit jelly because fruit preserves had too much fruity gunk and seeds. The same thing with blackberries and raspberries but the dislike for the seeds in them was worse than strawberries. But now I love and prefer fruit preserves and don’t mind the seeds.
Raw apples I still have a texture problem with. I love the flavor of the juice of the raw apple but chewing the pulp and skin, Eeeyick. The pulp is so gritty that it feels like I have a mouthful of sand. After the apple flavor is gone, I just can’t bring myself to swallow the mass of skin and pulp and I have to spit it out before I begin to gag. I’ve never had a problem with cooked apples, like apple pie, apple cobbler, applesauce is all fine. Raw pears are even grittier. Eww.
My problem now is that certain aroma’s still make me queasy and sick. If I can’t get past the smell, it’s not going in my mouth, period. I hate it when people say “C’mon, it doesn’t taste anything like it smells.” And I say to them, “Yea, prove your theory to me by eating a plate of some fresh steaming dog poo.” That pretty much shuts them up.

I’m not as picky as I used to be as a kid but there are certain foods that I'll never eat such as:
“Mayonnaise” and any foods made with it. Which pretty much excludes all pre-made sandwiches, and of course any creamy based salad dressings or products such as macaroni salad, potato salad, egg salad, etc.

“Mustard”. Or mus-TURD as I like to think of it. All kinds including honey-mustard and powdered mustard used in recipes.

“Mushrooms”, “olives”, “green, red and yellow peppers”. On a pizza, I can pick off the mushrooms and olives, but if there were peppers on it, I’m not going to eat it because the pepper flavor completely contaminates the pizza.

Anything and everything “pickled” is a non-starter for me. Smells awful and tastes even worse. I just hate all the vinegar-i-ness of it. Relish’s and chutney’s are on this list as well. Although vinegar used as an ingredient such as ketchup or other recipes I’m fine with. Also I’m fine with a little bit of sweet vinaigrette on a leafy salad now that I kinda like to eat lettuces. Only recently, in the last 2 years have I begun to eat leafy salads. I still struggle with it sometimes. Also can’t stand the smell of vinegar. makes me want to puke. I have to leave the room or building if someone is cooking or cleaning with it.

“Organ meats”. I have never tried it and never will. Call me closed minded, I don’t care.

“Lamb”, “Venison”, “game birds(geese, duck, etc)”. Nope, nope and nope.

“Coffee”, “IPA beers” and other bitter flavored drinks I can’t stand. I can’t drink straight liquor either. It has to be mixed with something sweet, like fruit juices or something.

“Hot-Spicy” foods are also off the list. If i detect any heat or burn in my mouth, it’s over. I can’t enjoy my meal if I have to experience pain while chewing and swallowing it. No thank you. This particular category of food seems to get the foodies incensed when I say that I don’t/won’t eat spicy foods. This where I get the “What? Really? What’s wrong with you?” or “You have a boring, bland palate.” comments. This would include all Indian and Thai food, Jamaican jerk sauce, jalapeños, habaneros, red pepper flakes, buffalo wing sauce, you name it.

The last thing I just won’t eat which seems to piss off the foodies the most is, “Seafood”. It seems to be the one food group that most people just can’t get over myself,(and my wife), not liking, and the one thing that seems to cause the most stress. People will say to me, “Oh, you don’t like seafood, but you like shrimp, right?” or “You don’t like seafood because you haven’t been served really fresh seafood” or “You don’t like salmon because you haven’t had my salmon made my special way”. But when I tell people that I hate seafood, they seem to think that I’m broken and that it’s their mission to fix me somehow. Nope, I just hate all seafood, including seaweed(nori, miso). It’s not just seafood but all water borne plants and animals which includes fresh water fish and crustaceans as well. I’ve tried fish sticks, shrimp and salmon as a kid and have always been extremely disgusted by it. To me all seafood has this one prevalent thing, a certain flavor and smell, which can only be described as, “The Ocean”. And I don’t want the smell and taste of the ocean in my mouth. I won’t eat Thai, Vietnamese or other southeast asian dishes because of a staple ingredient that’s used in almost all those foods. “Nam Pla”, better known as fish sauce. It’s used in most seafood and non-seafood dishes like beef, chicken and pork entries and side dishes. So even though it’s not officially a seafood dish, it has seafood in it. So I just avoid it altogether. I also avoid Worcestershire sauce because the main ingredient is anchovies. My wife however, whom also hates seafood, doesn’t mind Caesar salad dressing and Worcestershire sauce in her food. One time she revealed to me that she always uses Worcestershire sauce when she makes hamburger patties. After that revelation, I now refuse to eat her hamburgers and meatloaf. Finally the smell of seafood is so vile and offensive, that I’ve had to walk out of restaurants and people’s houses to be able to completely escape it. To me it’s the same as smelling something dead and rotting.

I’m a proud picky eater these days.
I don’t lie to people and say I’m allergic or say I have digestive issues.
I used to try to tell white lies about it, but then something clicked in my mid-20s and I said to myself that “this is just who I am, accept it, or don’t.” I tell people that I simply just don’t like to eat it and that’s that. If people try to belittle or shame me, I fire back with witty comments like the dog poo comment I mentioned earlier or if they refuse to drop it, I’ll get angry and tell them to STFU. Other times I just tell people that it’s not a topic I wish to discuss anymore ever, and that I’m all talked out about it.
I’m 49, and nobody, nohow is going to change me now.
I don’t worry about insulting anyone anymore either.
If I’m invited to private dinners, I let the host(s) know that “I’m a picky eater and I might not be able to eat, or even try all the foods offered”, but to not worry or think that they have to make any special exceptions for me.
I’ve never had an intimate relationship fail because of my picky eating but I have had to break off friendships because some would like to out me and put me on the spot in front of other people or they prepared a meal for me and then revealed a disgusting ingredient they put in it knowing full well that I would’ve vehemently objected. When that happens, our friendship is over. I can never, trust that despicable person ever again.
Do I eat unhealthy things? Yes.
Am I overweight? A little.
But I’m not starving to death and don’t need any counseling or therapy to overcome my pickiness. I’m happy and enjoy the foods that I like and I’m comfortable with my food choices.