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EmmaEmma from UK wrote on December 2, 2019 on 2:30 pm:
Hi, I have just found this group as I am now 30 years old and dont want to be controlled by my eating anymore. My job has me travelling the world to some truly amazing places and the embarrassment of me not eating is getting me so upset. Has anyone tried things to cope? I am thinking of hypnosis? Be great to hear some feedback
Admin Reply by: Bob
There is a man named Felix in the UK that claims to fix people like us in a day or less. Caution he is very expensive and we can not say if his claims are true. Please be careful. Other members of our support group have reported that hypnosis can put them in relaxed mood prior to trying new foods but the long term results are generally poor. Hope you find what your looking for and actual total cure for our disorder can be very hard to achieve. However you can certainly increase the number of things you can eat.
KatieKatie from Illinois wrote on November 26, 2019 on 1:46 am:
Hi! I posted here a while back, but I’ve been a picky eater all my life. I’ve kind of started to accept who I am and deal with it, but this upcoming spring i’ll be going out of the country for a week on vacation. Do you know of anyone who’s gone out of the country as a picky eater and how they handled eating? I’ll be in Morocco, Spain, and Italy (which I’m the least worried about because of the pizza.) Some of my safe foods are pastas (but not with red sauce), breads, some fruits, eggs, cheeses, most breakfast foods, and sweets, of course. I also prefer not to eat meat for moral reasons. I’m going with a group, so the places we eat are predetermined, and I’m not old enough to go out alone. Any and all advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
Admin Reply by: Bob
You will probably be OK in Spain and Italy. Morocco could be a problem. Who ever is in charge of your group should be told about your problems with food. If not you will be playing a game of cat and mouse and spend most of your time trying not to be hungry and still hide your secret. I wish you the best. Try to have a good time.
KatieKatie from Council Bluffs wrote on November 25, 2019 on 3:52 am:
Hi. I’m 52 and I have been an extremely picky eater all my life. I remember as a child sitting alone at the table for hours because my mom wouldn’t let me up until I ate everything on my plate. I never would and after several hours she would finally let me leave the table. When I had colon cancer and was prepping for the surgery. My doctor gave me a list of about 20 items I could eat the week prior. On that list there were only three items I would eat. As an adult I have learned growing up just to avoid eating with others or simply stating I’m not hungry. I hear all the mean remarks and it seems like no one understands. The line I hear the most is “if she’s hungry enough, she’ll eat it.” Now I’m at a point in my life where I need to eat healthier. Is there any hope?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thanks for your post to our message board. Your experience is pretty common for many of us. I make it a point to let all my doctors know that I have ARFID a recognized medical condition that they need to understand so they can better deal with my needs. Come and join our support groups. We just moved to
DavidDavid from Spring Hill wrote on November 19, 2019 on 2:34 pm:
Hi. I'm David, 44, and this is a problem I've had my entire life. I'm lucky enough that if caught in the right frame of mind, with the right support and opportunity I can add something new to my diet. First time always tastes like fear and death, but when I don't die I can evaluate and perhaps try again later. I try to get a dozen attempts a year, but I've never managed more than 4 or 5. The precise contours of what is acceptable and what is not are still mysterious after all this time, and I often don't know in advance if I'll be able to eat something when the time comes even if the food is familiar if the preparer is not. The holidays have always been the worst, with the most unusual dishes appearing and the massive social pressure to 'just have a bite'. But has I have gotten older, I found that being open and honest with loved ones, friends, co-workers about the condition has helped me to remove a lot of the social fear and given me the necessary support to handle the anxiety.
EstherEsther from San Antonio wrote on November 15, 2019 on 6:32 pm:
Hi my name is Esther, I don't have a problem with foods but my 13 yr old son does, he ate great as a baby and a toddler up until the age of 3 is when i noticed he stopped eating certain food. At first i thought he was just being a picky eater n he will grow out of it, but he never did. I thought maybe once he started school and saw other kids eating that he will too (he was the only child at the time). I tried different pediatricians to see if anyone would give me answers as to why he wasn't eating but he was growing and gaining weight like any other normal kid so they will always just say it was a faze and he will grow out of it. He is now in 8th grade going to be 14 in May and he only eats nuggets and fries from Macdonalds, egg as an omelet and has to be made by me, pancakes made only by me as well, and snacks like cookies, toast, crackers and some fruit. He is getting help by a therapist who comes to my house twice a week and brings him different foods to try, but i really don't see a huge difference, he has been having this help for about 2 yrs now and he has only started eating pizza since, and at that he has a hard time eating more than one slice. He also takes for ever to eat, he cannot do any activities or go for long walks without starting to feel weak and getting so pale. Im glad he is not alone in this and i want to do anything to help him and make this eating problem easier for him. As a mom my fear is that he will get bully for this at school since he is starting high school next year i know how cruel some kids can be. Please help me with tips or different ways how i can help him. Thank u so much.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I'm sending you an invitation to join our support group hope to see you there. We can give you some advice but we have found their is no miracle cure.
CameronCameron from Boston wrote on November 14, 2019 on 12:41 am:
I am a 19 year old college student and I struggle with food. I've simply lost interest in eating. It feels like a chore. My meals consist of pasta, chicken, french fries, cereal, and a sandwich. I'm just so tired of eating the same foods over and over but for some reason when given the opportunity to try something new I refuse over and over. I feel very lucky after reading other people's posts , in that i dont have it as bad as others. I like some meats, and most fruits and some vegetables. Being a college student though i wish i could know a better way to combine the foods I like so I dont look so weird when I go out to eat and order the same thing every time- chicken tenders and fries. Going out to eat with friends is so embarassing for me, I eat the same thing every time. I'm so glad I found this page as I know I'm not alone.
SamanthaSamantha wrote on November 13, 2019 on 9:00 pm:
I just came across this website today and now i feel so much better! I am a 21 year old college student and dealing with this stuff alone has been rough. Ive been like this since i was little and now i'm at the point in my life where i want to explore and try new things but i just can't. I eat the same foods on a daily basis. Plain pasta (which has to be soft because i don't like hard textures), chicken fingers, french fries, eggs and Cheese pizza. There is this unexplainable fear where if someone puts a new meal in front of me to try i panic. I just say no until they give up and then i always look like a crazy person but i can't help it. Idk if its the texture or the smell but there is always an excuse for me for to try it. I have a sweet tooth as well. I don't have issues with trying new sweets or fruits but real food is horrible. I want to expand but im running out of options.
ElizabethElizabeth wrote on November 13, 2019 on 3:59 am:
So happy I found this site! I'm 20 years old and I've been like this since I was a little kid. My family always gets angry and yes, I understand, they do it because they worry about me, but they just can't see how hard I'm actually trying.
Yesterday I went to my best friend's house for dinner. We were supposed to eat french fries but they ended up buying a pizza. I couldn't pretend I wasn't hungry so I forced myself to eat a little, but I felt so sick that I ended up going home early. And anxiety has not left me since then.
Lately I have no appetite at all. Maybe my body is tired of eating the same things everyday. I only eat red meat, rice, potatoes, bread, chocolate cookies and milk. I always force myself to eat bananas, apples and carrots to get a little bit of healthy food but everytime I do it I just feel so so dirty. Need to spend 10 minutes washing my teeth afterwards.
I wish I could enjoy going out to eat with my friends like they always seem to do... Oh well... Things could always be worst. I guess I shouldn't be complaining so much.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Yes some of us are way worse. But if your limited diet causes you to have social embarrassment then you belong here with us. I can remember every time during my life that I had an experience like you just described. On a few occasions the event would make me almost suicidal. Or at least it was the start of a few days of deep depression. Cheer up you have all your legs, arms, hands, eyes, ears and you don't need help to go to the John. I have found as an adult life is better if all your good friends are told about your eating disorder ARFID. Come join our one of our support groups. Glad you found us.
HannahHannah from Provo wrote on November 6, 2019 on 11:07 pm:
I have been a SEVERELY picky eater my whole life, similar to many of you. My parents thought it would resolve itself, but I turn 20 this weekend and I still find myself ordering the plain hamburgers with nothing on them, buying the sugar cereal and all those childhood comfort foods, and avoiding meals where "fancy food" or salads are served. It's so nice to read through your posts and identify a lot of the same foods that I struggle with: vegetables, most fruits, seafood, any type of salad (including, yes, jello salad), anything spicy, etc. I'm in college trying to do 12 hours of school every day of the week and I'm gaining weight and losing energy fast. On the hunt for a diagnosis and/or a way to get over this picky eating so that I can eat better, feel better, and be more confident. I'm one of you. Thanks all for contributing your stories!
GageGage wrote on November 6, 2019 on 6:39 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". I'll check back here occasionally if anyone wants any sort of assistance or support from me, or has any questions.
MaureenMaureen from Cranbrook wrote on October 30, 2019 on 7:04 pm:
I am so happy to have read what other picky eaters have to say. I don't eat vegetables or fish or a multitude of other things. Why?? They may look gross or smell bad or, if I have had something in my mouth, it may be the texture or the sound it makes when I bite into it. Or, maybe I am with someone who is eating a rare steak & there is blood on his plate - then I can't eat my food either. Going out for dinner is not a treat. Because of how I eat, my weight is out of control. Might be easier to eat nothing because everything I like is bad for me. I know I need help but I don't know how that would manifest.
MelanieMelanie wrote on October 23, 2019 on 4:20 am:
I am so happy to finally find a welcoming community. I have struggled with this my entire life. My diet consists of yogurt, fruit, and junk food. I am "vegetarian," but don't eat vegetables. I would love to be able to eat salad one day, so I could sit down at restaurant and order a meal.
ProcrastinateherProcrastinateher from Australia wrote on October 21, 2019 on 2:47 am:
I found this website whilst looking for information on anxiety and food sensory issues, trying to figure out if it's my anxiety that is the reason behind my food issues or something else.

I do eat a variety of foods, but the ones I struggle with the most are vegetables. Corn, potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, I can usually eat by themselves whether roasted or boiled (not a big fan of mash).
Anything beyond that, it has to be in something for me to eat it. A couple of peas in a mouthful of pasta. Small pieces of carrot in a salad, stir fry or meatloaf.

Some foods I can't do at all, and will pick them out especially if there's big chunks of them, like mushrooms, brussel sprouts and anything from the pickled cabbage range of foods (sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, artichokes, antipasto).

Even foods I regularly eat, I can't tolerate and won't eat if it's in a texture or smell that doesn't agree with me at that moment. E.g. right now, microwaved chunks of sweet potato from a ready meal are sitting there uneaten.

Sometimes my mouth sensory issues can be bad enough that regular toothpaste is too "spicy" and I can't tolerate it long enough to properly brush my teeth. Sometimes brushing my teeth activates my gag reflex, even if my toothbrush is nowhere near the back of my mouth.

As I've gotten older, I've been able to tolerate more tastes and smells. E.g. I now kinda like avocado, but make sure it's mashed into guacamole/spread and not in slimy slices.

It's become a problem again because I live alone and am trying to eat healthy. But it can be difficult to ensure my tastebuds will be okay with that flavour, smell and texture before the fresh food goes to waste.

Maybe lowering the medication I take for anxiety and depression has made things worse. Maybe I just have too much time to over-think and worry about my feelings toward food, and my sensitivities are actually in the "normal" range? Or I've just got to work hard to getting away from those junk "comfort" foods I used to emotionally eat.
CraigCraig from Cincinnati wrote on October 17, 2019 on 3:49 am:
When I was a kid, age 3 and up, I ate nothing but potatoes, grilled cheese, peanut butter, milk, soda, crackers, all very bland, plain food. That continued through adulthood. I didn't have a piece of pizza until 17, a hamburger until 37, eggs at 41, I could go on and on. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed because I did 't eat like everyone else. My siblings teased me about it constantly. My parents used to make me sit at the dinner table until I ate everything on my plate. I would sit there for an hour after everyone else was finished and gone doing their thing. My parents gave me chewable vitamins that I liked. I liked carnation instant breakfast chocolate drink so every morning through high school I drank one of those. Things started to change for me when I went into the service. You can't request food there and I either ate the food they had or starve. In basic I learned to eat meats. Chicken, fried fish, turkey and ham, hot dogs. I still don't eat a lot of different foods but a lot more than I used to. Starving in a situation made me eat and try different things also. I didn't have a burger until 37 like i stated before. The only reason i tried a burger is because we landed in Saudi Arabia back in 97 late at night and the only thing open on base was a Burger King trailer. They only had burgers and fries. I hadn't eaten that day for about 14 hours and was starved. I got two plain cheeseburgers and ate them both in about 3 minutes. They were good so I started eating more burgers. Same thing with other foods. I am now 60 and I am pretty healthy. Is still to this day have never had lobster, most seafood, the only veggies I eat are cooked carrots, baled beans, corn and potatoes. I have never had peas, green beans, or any other green veggie. I can only eat food that smells good and looks good. I am to the point now, being older, that I order what I want to eat. If someone is with me and they say anything, I look at them and say, are you buying my food? Then you need to be quiet. It wasn't easy trying different foods. I do eat all kinds of pastas now but I still only go with plain sauce, nothing fancy with a lot of flavor or spices. I do not eat mexican or any foreign foods. I do eat chinese every once in awhile too. So I am with each and every one of you on here and I know the struggles and embarressment we all have gone through in life. Hold your head up high, there is nothing wrong with us.
JanetJanet from Florida wrote on October 17, 2019 on 1:06 am:
I am 58 years old and today is the first time I have heard of this. I heard it on the radio and was stunned . All this time I thought it was just me, it has brought me to tears. It started as a child, I wouldn’t eat anything but bacon for meat. I would eat sweets, potato and bread but no fruit or vegetables. It continued through teens where I did add in a few more foods. Early 20’s I became binge eating and bulimic and still regress to that today when under stress/anxious. From what I have started reading online it all started in childhood which makes sense, all I remember is being physically forced to eat food several times, I black out the details and constantly being anxious and afraid. I still get that way in social situations where there is food. I have to check the menu online prior to going to make sure there is something there I can eat. Or usually just try to avoid going out to eat all together.
I am not sure what I am going to do now going forward, except research this more. I don’t think I could ever talk about it with anyone too ashamed. But knowing this is a real illness makes me feel alittle better today. Thank you.
BrittneyBrittney from Millington wrote on October 12, 2019 on 9:27 pm:
I just found out this was actually a real issue. I always just thought I was abnormally picky. I'm almost 18 and I've grown to be very insecure about how picky I am. I'm not overweight but I find it hard to lose weight and get fit because i only eat unhealthy foods. There are a few fruits that I like but no vegetables at all. I dont know how to change this. I just really want to eat healthier but I dont like anything.
MitziMitzi from Lafayette wrote on October 9, 2019 on 10:30 am:
My son, Taylor just turned 19 this year and is a picky eating adult. He has lived his whole life as a “picky eater.” That’s what people called him when he was younger when they found out he didn’t eat meat, or fruit or vegetables.. or even pizza or hamburgers! Their mouths would fall open and they would be shocked! I would try to explain to them that he had been that way his whole life, even when he was a baby. I would put a tiny bit of meat baby food under rice cereal and fruit flavored baby food and he would ALWAYS catch me and spit it out. Every time. My mom and I have tried over the years to introduce Mac and cheese to him. Nope, didn’t want it. I knew he has some sort of what I only knew to call an “eating disorder”. But there were no answers to find. His pediatricians didn’t seem to care because he was healthy. He never got sick. His MAIN FOOD, his FAVORITE FOOD, the only HOT FOOD he eats until this day are French fries. He even told me a few months back that there is a name for his “eating disorder”. I was so glad he had a name to validate the way he eats so when the negative people would poo poo his eating habits he could tell them what was true. And now that my mom shared the French Fry Lady’s story with me I too can let my husband, Taylor’s step dad know what’s true . I want to thank you all for being here for my son and anybody else struggling to try to be “normal “. Taylor and everyone struggling like him are worthy, precious and beautiful just the way they are right now!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Such a nice posting to our Guest Book. The name is ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It was entered into the DSM in may of 2013. People who belong to this group were instrumental in helping doctors discover and name our eating disorder. There are thousands of us all over the world in every country. I would bet your son is very special in other ways. Many of us are very successful and standouts in life. Thank you
TerryTerry from Phenix City wrote on October 7, 2019 on 1:43 am:
Hi I am a 56 y.o. man and I have suffered with this all my life. Until tonight I never knew what was wrong with me I just knew something was. It is much easier to list the foods I will eat than to list the ones I won't (can't) eat. I am 5'10" tall and weigh 320 lbs. I am praying I have found a place and a group of people that can help me fix me.
Admin Reply by: Bob
We can probably help you feel better about who you are. Fixes have been hard to come by. It does appear some have gotten better with lots of dedication and hard work. You have to want it really bad.
ColleenColleen from Levittown wrote on October 6, 2019 on 1:35 pm:
I am 42 years old and I have been a picky eater my entire life. I got called a b**ch by family members and friends for being a picky eater and I get sick from mayo, mustard, and spicy foods and I can't eat fish, shellfish, lobster, or any type of certain foods and I get stomach aches by eating certain fruits and vegetables. I was told by family members and friends that I am an embarrassment to be seen in public and that I should order the food the way it is an eat it and I get called a liar by being a picky eater by family and friends. I am definitely writing a book about it because I felt it wasn't my fault about being a picky eater and being allergic to certain foods.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Let me know when you get your book done. There have been others published already. Suffering Succotash was one. You should give your relatives a chance by asking them to look up ARFID Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder in the May 2013 version of the DSM. You really do have a real disorder that is not your fault. Plus you never chose to be the way you are. I wonder how they would like to eat raw liver or dog poop. If my relatives treated me the way yours have I would be forced to fire them and get some new friends too replace them. Hope your book is terrific.
CassieCassie from San Diego wrote on October 4, 2019 on 9:16 pm:
My name is Cassie and I’m 21 years old. I’ve been suffering with AFRID for as long as I can remember. Growing up my safe foods were fruits, cheese pizza, mac n cheese, milk, chow menu, plain bread, chips, and candy. I would never eat any meat, fish, vegetables, or basically anything healthy since even my safe foods were not healthy for me. It was always hard for me to go to my friends houses and be there when they’d eat or offer me food because I wouldn’t want it since it was out of my safe foods.. Because of it I’ve always struggled gaining weight no matter how much of the unhealthy stuff I’d eat. It wasn’t until about a year ago when a I moved out and I wanted to make a change, not having the pressure of anyone watching me try new foods was so much easier. I still wouldn’t eat much since I never learned how to cook and I was honestly lazy.. But from trying take out I tried burgers and chicken wings and then I got into a relationship 6 months ago with a guy who’s into fitness and being healthy, and I was nervous to tell him about my previous eating habits and his diet is basic and nothing crazy but healthy still so I’d eat what he would eat (chicken, veggies, and pasta) and now I’m able to eat ground beef, chicken, green beans, spinach, broccoli, ham, lettuce, and protein shakes. He now knows about my eating habits, but sees my efforts and it hasn’t effected our relationship. I sometimes get concerned with my health because of the long 20 years not eating anything with nutritional value but trying my hardest to beat this battle and regain all the health I’ve missed all these years.