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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.
Welcome
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.
JamesJames from Manhattan wrote on October 3, 2019 on 1:54 am:
My name is James and I am a 24 year old who beat ARFID. Growing up I had a very poor diet that went beyond the typical picky eating of many children. My diet consisted of French fries, plain pizza, Mac and cheese, cereal without milk, popcorn, waffles and pancakes, scrambled eggs, plain pasta without sauce or butter, pretzels, mashed potatoes, plain chips, sugary yogurts, and candy. At one point I ate bananas and then later decided I didn’t like them anymore. I carried a lot of shame with me. I was always embarrassed at family gatherings when dinner would be served or generally at any occasion where food was involved. “Why aren’t you eating?” “I’m not hungry” meanwhile I was practically starving. This was my reality for a long time. Casual dinners with friends would give me pretty intense anxiety. When my mom would try to expose me to new foods I would literally gag and choke while trying things like plain unseasoned chicken, pasta with tomato sauce, anything outside of my comfort zone. My mom has taken me to specialists and there was no resolve for my issue. My mom started picking up ensures at the grocery store so that at least I had some sort of nutrition in my diet. So let’s get to the point where things changed. I was 20 years old and had gotten a fresh haircut. Buzzed on the sides and bit of length on the top. I noticed bald spots on the side of my head and thought the barber shaved too close to my head. A few weeks went by and the spots didn’t grow in. I googled and came across alopecia. Whether I’m correct or not, I attributed my alopecia to my poor diet. I became extremely worried for my health, I knew I needed to make a change. I was working in the mall at the time and one day while on break, I decided to order a small classic house salad from Panera. Lettuce, fresh onions, a couple cherry tomatoes, cucumber, with dressing on the side(to this day I dislike most salad dressings) I forced myself to eat this salad in my car by myself. I was choking gagging and tearing up. I was literally crying as I ate ice burg lettuce. I absolutely hated it. But I knew that the way I was eating was going to lead to serious chronic health issues down the road. I finished most of the salad and threw the rest away. I probably went back to my typical eating habits for a while but I made an effort to make a change. Very gradually I tried more and more new foods. I essentially put myself through exposure therapy. Today I eat cooked and raw fish, absolutely every single fruit and vegetable, all nuts/seeds, all types of grain, and most meats though I don’t prefer to eat meat. I am more daring than a lot of people without ARFID and I am so proud of this. I am still particular in my own ways and I still have a lot of love for Mac and cheese and French fries above everything else. I definitely still indulge in my comfort foods. I’m not perfect but I can go to any restaurant and find something to order. My favorite health foods that I sincerely enjoy are cucumber, pistachios, almonds, spinach, celery, avocado, quinoa, broccoli, raspberries, and fish, especially sashimi. If I can do it, then you can too. It’s a serious mental block but it IS possible to work through it. I am living proof. It boils down to grit. I advise to try new foods that are as plain as possible. This way you understand what each food tastes like on their own. Part of the fear of new foods is how unknown they are to you. When you try plates with many ingredients you won’t know what to which attribute flavor to. Also, in the beginning it really helped me to try new things in comfort of my own privacy. I didn’t want anyone to see me gag and I was able to take things at my own pace. I’m writing this to inspire. I know how difficult living with ARFID was and I want anyone living through it to know that it’s possible to get through it.

PS no more bald spots :)
JamesJames from Manhattan wrote on October 3, 2019 on 1:35 am:
I am a 24 year old who beat ARFID. Growing up I had a very poor diet that went beyond the typical picky eating of many children. My diet consisted of French fries, plain pizza, Mac and cheese, cereal without milk, popcorn, waffles and pancakes, scrambled eggs, plain pasta without sauce or butter, pretzels, mashed potatoes, plain chips, sugary yogurts, and candy. At one point I ate bananas and then later decided I didn’t like them anymore. I carried a lot of shame with me. I was always embarrassed at family gatherings when dinner would be served or generally at any occasion where food was involved. “Why aren’t you eating?” “I’m not hungry” meanwhile I was practically starving. This was my reality for a long time. Casual dinners with friends would give me pretty intense anxiety. When my mom would try to expose me to new foods I would literally gag and choke while trying things like plain unseasoned chicken, pasta with tomato sauce, anything outside of my comfort zone. My mom has taken me to specialists and there was no resolve for my issue. My mom started picking up ensures at the grocery store so that at least I had some sort of nutrition in my diet. So let’s get to the point where things changed. I was 20 years old and had gotten a fresh haircut. Buzzed on the sides and bit of length on the top. I noticed bald spots on the side of my head and thought the barber shaved too close to my head. A few weeks went by and the spots didn’t grow in. I googled and came across alopecia. Whether I’m correct or not, I attributed my alopecia to my poor diet. I became extremely worried for my health, I knew I needed to make a change. I was working in the mall at the time and one day while on break, I decided to order a small classic house salad from Panera. Lettuce, fresh onions, a couple cherry tomatoes, cucumber, with dressing on the side. I forced myself to eat this salad in my car by myself. I was choking gagging and tearing up. I hated it. But I knew that the way I was eating was going to lead to serious chronic health issues down the road. I finished most of the salad and threw the rest away. I probably went back to my typical eating habits but I made an effort to make a change. Gradually I tried more and more things. I essentially put myself through exposure therapy. Today I can eat cooked and raw fish, absolutely every single fruit and vegetable, all nuts/seeds, all types of grain, and most meats though I don’t prefer to eat meat. I am more daring than a lot of people without ARFID and I am so proud of this. I am still particular in my own ways and I still have a lot of love for Mac and cheese and French fries above everything else. But I can go to any restaurant and find something to order. My favorite health foods are cucumber, pistachios, almonds, spinach, celery, avocado, quinoa, broccoli, raspberries, and fish, especially sashimi. If I can do it, then you can too. Ps no more bald spots :)
KawtarKawtar from Rabat -Morocco wrote on September 29, 2019 on 5:53 pm:
Hello
My name is Kawtar and I am 21 years old. I'm currently 46kg, 159 cm.
My story with food started about six years ago. I started narrowing the list of my safe zone little by little. I don't eat any type of meat. I don't like most of vegetables . I hate cheese, milk and butter. I can't even stand the smell of milk. My favorite food is French fries and my favorite drink is coke. My food phobia caused me a lots of problems....I cannot go out with friends to eat because I get discussed. I feel embarrassed when people ask me about my condition because nobody believes that there is something called food phobia. I barely visit people because I feel unconfortable when they offer me food. In some culture, when you don't eat in their houses they feel disrespected. My diet consists of bread, pasta with tomato sauce with no spices just salt, peanut butter, nutella, potatoes, bananas,eggs, buiscuits that don't have milk/butter and of course French fries and fizzy drinks. I don't wanna be like this anymore... I'm sick of being called a weirdo.
Thank you guys for reading my story.
Have a nice day.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Try looking up ARFID. It's more than food phobia.
RachelRachel from Durham wrote on September 27, 2019 on 1:23 pm:
Hey I’m Rachel, I’m not really an adult, I’m 16. But I’ve just found this and Ive been reading through it. It’s amazing to see that I’m not alone because my family give me such a hard time about my eating. I was never fed as a child and when I was. I only ate tuna sandwiches. And ever since I’ve had such a hard time with food. I’m so scared to try new things, and if I get told to try something I have panic attacks. And I don’t know what to do!! I want to be like everyone else but I can’t. It’s like something in my brain tells me not to try it because I wouldn’t know what to do if I hated it. I do need an answer if anyone could help me. My family think that I’m a freak and I’ll suffer in the long term but I think I’m normal. (Although it’s really hard to go out to restaurants or peoples houses in case they make something I don’t like) but could someone help me?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Rachel
I would be willing to bet you will outgrow this sometime real soon. You should try things by yourself and not at meal times. I suspect you could be very successful. Being able to eat Tuna fish sandwiches tells me you have a good chance. Your condition's name is ARFID.
Good Luck and make sure you have a great life.
PaigePaige from Victoria, BC, Canada wrote on September 26, 2019 on 11:04 pm:
Honestly, I just found out about this today, and I feel this huge anvil lifted off of my chest. I'm 29 and my boyfriend loves ethnic foods. There's an Indian restaurant next to my work and it smells amazing, but all of it just looks like goop. Different textured goop.

When I was little, I used to love peanut butter sandwiches, and my parents made the mistake of saying "Well try this for dinner, and if you don't like it, you can have a peanut butter sandwich." Now, because I liked peanut butter sandwiches, I'd lie and say I tried it and didn't like it.

As an adult, I am now incredibly weary of all foods, feeling like I've tried it and not liked it. I literally only try new things off of other people's plates as well. Why would I pay for something at a restaurant that may be great, but what if I don't like it? Now I'm paying for something I don't like AND I'm still hungry.

Thank you for giving me a voice and more confidence.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Glad to here from you. You are not alone. Don't get married unless your current boyfriend is willing to accept you just the way you are with no promises of getting better. You might improve the number of things you eat but your relationship should not depend on it.
SadeSade from Detroit wrote on September 24, 2019 on 7:57 pm:
I’m 25 and I’m an extremely picky eater. I love fries, grilled cheeses and fried fish. I can eat a few breakfast foods but that’s about it. Don’t even like pizza because I don’t like the taste of the marinara. I really want to change my eating habits as I know my health will be impacted by this. I’m over weight and I want to lose the weight but I feel like I can’t because of my diet. Glad to know that’s there’s others around me who feel the same way.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I have lived with it my entire life and I just turned 72 doing fine.
Rennard EastRennard East from Philadelphia wrote on September 22, 2019 on 1:51 pm:
Hi I'm Rennard & ive eaten like this my entire life. I don't eat any seafood whatsoever, mayonnaise, salad dressing, dark meat chicken or turkey. I always got ridiculed at thanksgiving dinner for not eating stuffing or cabbage. I always knew my eating choices were very strict but I had no idea there were folks out there like me. I'd literally starve before eating things listed above.
JoJo from papamoa beach wrote on September 10, 2019 on 3:10 am:
Just a 62 year old fussy eater, scared to try new foods, hold my breath walking past bananas at the supermarket! For me it it's all about the texture, lots of crunch and salt and sugar. Have thought about hypnosis but haven't actively pursued it as a solution.
MelanieMelanie from Saint louis wrote on September 4, 2019 on 4:59 am:
I'm 27 years old and live in saint louis. I've had a small list of safe foods for almost my entire life. It mainly consists of pizza, bread and cheese. If someone sits an unsafe food in front of me and tell me to eat it, I immediately start gagging and panicking. I'm so sick of living with this but havent been able to ever find help for it. Any suggestions?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Look for ARFID. The disorder has been recognized since May of 2013. Lots of internet references can be found. Or you could read through our guest book entries.
MattMatt wrote on August 30, 2019 on 9:55 pm:
I’ve been a picky eater my whole life. I will soon be 37. I’ve learned to deal with it. I’ve found ways to get all the macro and micro nutrients I need. I still have a strong fear of being rejected when in social settings where the only food available is something I do not like. I started going to a therapist lately, but I think I need to talk to a psychologist that understands this situation more. Is there a list of specialists in this condition? I live in the Boston area.
DaniDani from Bloomington wrote on August 30, 2019 on 7:40 pm:
I've been a picky eater my whole 20 years of living. It's not that I just don't like other foods, it's that I am exteremly afraid of trying them, as to why I believe I have food neophobia. I have already been diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and mild panic disorder, but all my panic and anxiety stems from my phobia of trying new foods.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I just sent you a private email. Welcome to our group
ArielAriel from Memphis wrote on August 27, 2019 on 3:32 pm:
My name is Ariel, I'm 25, and I don't know where I fit in the world of picky eaters. My list of safe foods is a lot longer than most people on this website, which is good, and it has grown throughout my life. But it also kind of varies from day to day, which is frustrating. Some of my most unsafe foods are onions, strawberries, and cabbage, but I also struggle with peppers, asparagus, kale, brussel sprouts, oranges, raspberries, shrimp, fish roe, etc...

I also often deal with my gag reflex being too sensitive, even with foods I like and when I know I'm still hungry. I love broccoli (but only steamed and with lemon), but recently I've been gagging while eating it. I also have a problem with getting bored while eating. Even when I'm still hungry, I just get so tired of it. Recently, I was eating cheese pizza (a very safe food), but it still took me an hour and a half to eat the same amount as usual. Sometimes I just avoid eating because I just do. not. enjoy it.

I don't know what I'm hoping to get out of posting here. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else feels like they're too picky to be a normal adult, but not picky enough to qualify for ARFID or anything like that. Like I'm in this weird limbo and I don't know how to get help.
SydneySydney from Pittsburgh wrote on August 16, 2019 on 2:08 pm:
Hello I'm a 22-year old picky eater whose diet essentially boils down to pizza, french fries, and ham and cheese sandwiches. I decided to post here because I feel like I need to start making a change. I've read about AFRID and I have no doubt that my picky eating falls in that category. I also wanted to post here because I do feel alone as a picky eater but I also feel like a hypocrite. I recently graduated from college with a degree in Exercise Science. I am supposed to be promoting healthy lifestyle choices and here I am unable to eat a healthy diet. Another reason for this feeling is that I have recently started gaining weight and with my knowledge base of how the body functions I worry all the time that that I'm going to drop dead from a heart attack due to unhealthy eating for the past 22 years. I don't like feeling like a fraud but it is so hard for me to try new things. Like i used to be the picky eater who would order mozzarella sticks and take off the breading, why I have no idea but I did. And overcoming things like that strangely make me feel like I'm taking a step in the right path but I just feel like a joke to those around me who don't understand. I feel like I see way too many walls up for trying something new where maybe there aren't really any. I would like to mention that I have reached out to a therapist about working things out and that is honestly why I am posting here. I feel like by speaking out into the void that I'm trying to make some progress might hold me accountable in to keep it up. It's nice to know I'm not the only one out there and that there are others out there who know the anxiety going to a new restaurant brings. I'm interested in hearing any ways any of you have made small successful steps to introducing new foods into your diet!
Admin Reply by: Bob
I don't think you will drop dead any time soon. I just had my 72 birthday and I'm feeling pretty good. I think you should ask your therapist how many others with ARFID he or she has treated successfully. I would bet the answer will turn out to be zero or close to it. Don't get into the endless cycle of visits that only cause you to spend your hard earned money for little or no gain. The one thing I know that has helped others is chaining. What you do is take some food that you can eat and add something to it which will expand your choices. Most everyone has problems with certain foods. In our case the list is way longer. Don't let your food challenges keep you from having a great life. It's only food.
JissellJissell from Clinton wrote on August 15, 2019 on 3:01 am:
To start off I am not an adult I am 16 years old. I’ve been picky ever since I was born, my mom always tells me stories on how she would try to feed me certain foods and I would spit them out. Till this day I am still like that I only rely on chicken nuggets or tenders with fries , tacos with out cilantro or onions, spaghetti without sauce just butter, all types of fruits. No vegetables at all except for cucumbers. I love steak and chicken,turkey. I am very ashamed of me for this I just wished I was a normal eater but the texture and smells of foods that I don’t like just make me not want to eat them. One thing I do to see if I don’t like the food is look at it or smell it . I have a feeling I will be like this for the rest of my
Life
Admin Reply by: Bob
Cheer up. Many people that come to this website have much shorter lists of foods they can eat. Some no meat or vegetables. You will probably expand your list in the next few years. Even if you don't most people have some foods they can't tolerate. In your case it's just a little longer. Try adding just one new food which is similar to something you can eat now about once a month. I think your going to be fine. Being picky is not so bad when you think of some many other problems we could have which are way worse. Now go out and have a great life. It's up to you.
HannahHannah from Bristol wrote on August 11, 2019 on 4:51 pm:
Hi, I’m Hannah and I’m 18 years old. I’ve always struggled with having a varied diet and I believe it’s affecting my hair and my weight for sure. I’ve been underweight for a long time and not by choice. I wish I could eat more healthy foods but I simply don’t like the taste and my parents can’t understand that. I struggle with almost all fruit apart from apples and most vegetables apart from carrots, peas, sweetcorn + green beans. My parents cook a lot of all in one pots with rice, onions, peppers + chicken. I end up eating the chicken then picking through the rice trying to avoid eating the onion. It’s becoming a big problem and I’m due to move out to University soon. Any advice on how I can deal with this problem would be unbelievably helpful. Thankyou x
Admin Reply by: Bob
Sounds like you are lucky that you can eat some vegetables and fruits. Seems like your not getting enough to eat because of all the extra items going into the pot. You could be a super taster and your parents are trying to force you into eating things you probably will never learn to like including Onions and peppers. If you feel like your deficient you might want to get some blood tests to see how you are really doing health wise. You should be fine when you move to the University. Perhaps you need to have a very serious talk with your parents about a disorder you may have and they are not helping things by trying to force you into eating some foods you probably will never like. Your limited food choices should not keep you from having a long and healthy life. I just made it too 72.