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GinaGina from Bridgewater wrote on September 27, 2016 on 5:20 pm:
Hey! I just discovered this blog and I couldn't be any happier that I did. I didn't realize how many people can relate to my problem... I'm 23 years old and I am known to be "the pickiest eater" I have a horrible fear of different textures and tastes near my mouth or nose. I'll eat anything simple... Pizza (only plain or pepperoni) chicken nuggets, pasta, fried foods. I've never attempted to eat a vegetable nor have I had any other fruit besides a banana. It's not that I don't want to try knew things, it's that my brain forces me to not be able to.

I've suffered with OCD since I was a child. Between counting to hoarding to numbers to obsessive thoughts and routines. I currently seeking a fantastic therapist who I sit down with and on occasion will bring a piece of food in to try.

Being a picky eater is definitely one of the hardest things to explain... You always here "oh yeah I'm picky too!" or "you're missing out on so much" or my favorite... "just try it what is the worst that can happen?" To me, id throw up and continue to have a severe panic attack.

I just want everybody to know that you are not alone!!! I would love to share more of my stories and hear what other people have to say. Keep on moving on :)!
RyanRyan from prospect park wrote on September 24, 2016 on 4:41 pm:
This message is for all of you who feel so overwhelmed by the idea of attempting to eat like a normal human being, and want to try things but the irrational sensation of fear holds you back. I am 22 years old and I currently struggle with trying new foods. I basically grew up eating what everyone else on here eats. I recently discovered how awesome pizza was a couple years back and I regret not trying it before. (Seriously, I have an addiction).

I struggled with OCD my entire life, and not that "im a neat freak", the kind where I wash my hands till they're red, count my steps in groups of 4, would tap things certain ways and just so many more. If I didn't do a ritual right I would spend so much time trying to perfect it. The worst part is I was completely aware of how irrational my OCD was and it's just this force that makes you keep going.

After some therapy and being a rational guy I finally have overcome OCD to where I don't even think twice about doing my "things". BUTTT!!!!! I GET THE EXACT FEELING OF IRRATIONAL FEAR WHEN I AM PRESENTED WITH FOOD I AM AFRAID TO TRY.

I have a beautiful girlfriend who truly will eat anything. She loves all food and I'm sitting here in the corner with my pizza and fries. I'm trying so hard to try new foods for her and tonight I'm going to a fancy restaurant and no matter how damn scared I am I'm gonna eat some Braised Beef Short Ribs and mashed potatoes. I never had them and I think if I tell myself I'll like it enough I will. I am mainly trying to eat for her but I need to get this figured out anyway for public events and dinners.

It is true that normal people look at food and go "that looks good" and were like "oh no, that's gonna taste bad". I've even stared at food that looked delicious but didnt try it because of my fear of it tasting bad.

All I want you to know, is if you do want to beat the fear, just push yourself. I beat my OCD and I will beat this fear of trying new foods one baby step at a time.

Just remember it's literally all in our heads. The only reason this food is even tasting bad is because subconsciously, whether we like it or not, our brains like nah bro its gonna taste like shit. So we think it tastes like shit.

Once again I was just sick of seeing the posts of people accepting rather than coping, but remember this post is only meant for the people who want to change. Just do what makes you happy in the long run. My happy is learning how to eat and eat properly especially at these extravagant dinners and to be able to take my gf out who LOVES eating out. Best of wishes to you guys and I will keep you updated on my progress as I enter the ring. Peace out!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Many have attempted to go with it's all in your head and you can beat it if you force yourself. I will be looking forward to how you progress and I would love to here the results no matter what happens. Best of luck to you.
Bob K
PetePete from Havant wrote on September 22, 2016 on 10:32 pm:
I am a picky eater and I am proud. I don't want to eat the kind of foods other people like. I don't want to be cured and I certainly don't want help. I want to be left alone to eat as I please. My youngest son is exactly like me and I see his distress when family members talk about his eating or try to force things upon him. For me, there are two foods that trigger it the most; eggs and cucumber. Cucumber is the worst. The smell of it causes me to gag. I wish people could understand that this is an involuntary action. I cannot control it. The smell of salad is something I literally dread. I hate the fact that food at restaurants is served, by default, with a salad. I have to ask for it without and almost always they serve it anyway. Eating out at an unfamiliar restaurant scares me. Eating abroad, when you cannot communicate your preferences is like torture. I spent a week in China recently and I pretended to be too tired to go for dinner one evening, as I couldn't handle the thought of attending this particular restaurant. I instead ate snacks from the hotel. I'm not the fussiest, but I do have issues. I just wish I wasn't judged. Please leave me alone (people who eat anything). I don't want to be like you. I will never, ever (I'm deadly serious here, never, ever) eat certain things. I don't care if I'm "missing out". I could go my whole life without eating certain foods and be quite happy. If you (yes you, the fussy person) read this and think you should try and change, think about it. Do what you want. Eat what you want. You're not weird, you're a person, a human. Good isn't everything. Enjoy what makes you happy. I love eating, just not eating things that make me want to vomit. I eat what I like and it may be limited in your opinion, but that's what I like and that makes me unique. Rant over. Thanks for creating this website. It's the only place I've found that truly represents the minority.
DavidDavid from Portland, OR wrote on September 20, 2016 on 5:05 am:
At 22 years old I just discovered ARFID / SED today. I have to say it feels nice to be validated and find that there's other adult picky eaters. But at the same time I feel like I have largely come to terms with feeling like "I'm the only one who eats this way." I'm just not sure how I feel.

Regardless, I finally feel comfortable describing in detail my diet to people outside of immediate family / my boyfriend. I mostly eat grains, dairy, and nuts. So basically bread, milk, cheese, yoghurt, and almonds (and some other nuts) are my staples (I'll eat french fries potato chips too, but I'll always go for something cheesy first). No "wet grains" as I call them: pasta and rice. No vegetables, and fruit only if it is ground up and served with a base of something else (Ex, I will eat strawberry ice cream if there aren't chunks of strawberry). I don't eat meat and that can be a source of confusion for a lot of people. I never describe myself as vegetarian. I will always say "I don't eat meat" and almost immediately people will assume I love vegetables. NO! I won't even eat tomato sauce so I have to order pizza without sauce. Not a fan of pizza by the slice places. I can stomach a half a piece of regular cheese pizza if its got less than average sauce and/or extra cheese.

Whenever I meet someone new I will avoid eating with them for as long as possible. There's 2 reasons. 1, eating out in general can be stressful for me if its not a familiar restaurant (i.e. I need to know the menu before walking in the door). I always fear I won't be able to find something to eat. 2, 99% of the time I have to custom order something/leave things off or order off the kids menu. I am very self conscious about my food issues and I don't want the person I'm eating with to judge me. So if I already know the person fairly well, then going out to eat is substantially more tolerable. So obviously this greatly limits social situations as I'm sure you all are aware just how integral food is with social life.

My parents' main strategy to trying to get me to eat more foods growing up was a combination of "you can't leave the table until you try something new" and telling me how everyone else will think I'm really weird for not eating this or that. I could always wait out their forcing me to sit at the table. I could sit there for 3 hours and have to go straight to bed after dinner. To me that was far less unpleasant than a noodle or an apple. My parents finally gave up when I was about 13. I've slowly improved over the years. Probably one of the most adventurous things I'll eat is gorgonzola cheese.

Well that's my vent for the day. Thanks for reading 😉
MoonkweanMoonkwean from Vancouver wrote on September 19, 2016 on 8:00 pm:
I am the spouse of a picky eater. I love all kinds of food. My spouse is a wonderful human being. If I could change his food traits..... hmmm....that would be nice. I accept them and adjust. Eating is such a social event. I wish more people understood.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I don't think anyone would want to be the way we are with food. If you can imagine a world that the only thing people ate was something you can not tolerate and you would have some idea what it is like for us. We would change if we could. Social events are extremely stressful for most of us. I would bet your spouse loves you very much for accepting him the way he is.
Bob K
SarahSarah wrote on September 17, 2016 on 10:46 pm:
I don't think I've ever felt as comforted about my eating disorder than I have coming across this site and realising I'm not alone. My whole life, mainly as a child, I felt so confused and ashamed of myself and my eating habits. I genuinely believed that I was the only one in the world with this problem.
Since birth pretty much I have had these issues. All I ate was potato waffles and toast. I didn't know why, and it really affected me in ways I've only just realised looking back. I hated myself for having this disorder, and wouldn't wish my feelings of utter shame on anyone.
I am now 20 and have been through a hell of a lot but can happily say I have improved greatly. I have a story to tell if anyone would be up for speaking and trading. I would genuinely like to help someone improve in ways that I have because from experience living with this I know first hand that it can be really shitty on your wellbeing.
MathewMathew from Birmingham wrote on September 14, 2016 on 8:08 pm:
Hi my name is mat I'm 30 and been like this since I was young. I thought I was alone and only just found out about SED 30 minutes ago!

My diet consists of pancakes cakes, Yorkshire pudding, potatoes, chocolate and crisps. The only meat I eat is a plain hamburger from McDonald's. I'm worried as I think my diet is starting to make me ill. I want to change but I have no idea who to talk to. My friends recommended hypnotherapy. I really want to be able to eat veg and chicken. I can't even go out for a meal with family and friends. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
JuanJuan from Florida wrote on September 11, 2016 on 5:09 am:
26 years old here. Been a picky eater since about the age of 4 or 5.

My diet mainly consists of pizza, cheetos, pastries and cookies, candies and a decent assortment of fruits...that I don't eat enough of. With the help of my always patient and understanding wife I've been able to add a few things to my repertoire, though nothing that I can honestly say I like. Just stuff that I tolerate, and barely at that. These include simple pasta dishes and a few vegetables.

I'm plagued with guilt and anxiety about my eating habits. I avoid social gatherings with co-workers and end up feeling left out and distant from them because of it. I'm unable to enjoy a night out at a restaurant with my wife, if we do go out it's mostly me sitting and watching her eat which is just awkward, and to my shame I sometimes lie to her about trying new foods she cooks for me. I worry about my health and more so than that I worry about the kind of example I'll set for any children we might have.

It's comforting knowing that there's many others like me out there that I can share my experiences with.
ChristinaChristina from TAMPA wrote on September 10, 2016 on 4:56 am:
I have been a picky eater since I was 5. Before I turned 5, I would eat most things, but after that I wouldn't. Growing up, my parents hardballed me to no avail. I would choose to go hungry for days than eat foods I didn't like. My parents gave up, but to this day, my dad is convinced it's in my head.

I am 27 now. A mom of two. My husband is very supportive and understanding. I like meats and cheese, pasta, and rice, breads, and some sweets, but never mixed together any bland.

I love ice and water, but the ice has to be made from the water I drink or I taste the difference. I can't stand the texture of fruit. I don't like veggies, but I can tolerate small amounts of some. I have always dealt with social anxiety and felt out of step with everyone else.

I want to be a good example to my kids and eat fruits and veggies, but it makes me sick to my stomach. I am amazed that there are people out there like me.
BrittnyBrittny wrote on September 9, 2016 on 10:30 pm:
Finally I can say I am not crazy! I have been called and known for being a picky eater since I was little. Now going on 28 it is nice to know I am not the only one who can not eat certain foods because of their texture. Boy have I tried to eat the foods, especially lettuce, that make me want to gag because people have said it's just my imagination and if I try it enough my opinion will change. I brought this up years and years ago to a doctor but they said the same thing, try it enough and you will like it or the good old 'wait until your tastebuds change'. Wasn't until a couple weeks ago my husband brought up that maybe there actually was something to it. So glad he did and so glad I found this site!
MalloryMallory from Midlothian TX wrote on September 8, 2016 on 3:58 am:
Hi, I found this site while googling a way to combat my picking eating, because I feel like life is passing me by and my picky eating is holding me back. I can't tell you how many times I've been to diner with my friends and gotten a hamburger and fries while my friends all got salads. I have a problem with textures, because of this I avoid all fruits and veggies, aside from potatoes. I've tried some fruits but nothing works. I've been a picking eater all my life, but I'm turning 20 next month and somethings gotta give. I want to be able to eat what my friends and family eat and not be regulated to sandwiches, pizza, pasta, chicken, mac and cheese, burgers fries, and other forms of junk food. I want to be a doctor eventually how can I tell someone they need to change their diet when I can't even change my own. This site is truly inspiring.
inesines from munich wrote on September 4, 2016 on 1:41 pm:
so im a 19 y/o girl from munich in germany and i've been a picky eater aslong as i can remember, I cant eat any animal products and also i hate any sweets such as chocolate, cookies etc. . the only few dishes, that i love and that im able to eat at the moment are pasta( without any sauce), potatoes, salad, noodle soup,certain fruits and rice. Also if im eating two of the above they cant be on the same plate, because then they are "contaminated". My parents dont consider it as an eating disorder, but say that im only doing it for attention. Im actually at a point where i hate food and i hate having to eat, not because i want to lose weight or anything but because its so hard for me to actually prepare a meal that i can eat without having a panicattack. Now when i f.e. make myself a salad i have a certain routine for making it and when its done the right way i can eat loads of it , but if theres too much cucumber or carrrots in there i wont be able to eat it. Also i eat all my veggies (besides the potatoes) raw, because the smell of steamed or cooked veggies makes me sick to my stomach. i just wish i could go out for lunch with my friends sometimes or maybe to a family dinner
ArtArt from Pennsylvania wrote on September 2, 2016 on 3:50 pm:
WOW I am SOO GLAD im not alone! I am a 25 year old male who has been a picky eater my whole life. I thought I was just weird but now I know there's reasons for this and there are more people just like me. My diet for as long as I can remember and up to this day consists of Pizza (cheese only, pep if in a social situation and that's all there is), french fries, bread products, spaghetti (NO meat sauce), noodle soup, mac n cheese, junk food like lots of chocolate, cookies, and general snack foods. I drink alot of soda and coffee, generally have no issue with liquids. My family has always been supportive and understanding/tolerant. It is awkward going out to eat especially with co-workers or people who do not know me well enough to know what I eat. Many waiters give me looks and do not understand why I dont order that steak dinner but only bread. I usually go for just biscuits and fries and say I already ate. Fries are usually my main course. Soft pretzels and cheese dip are simply delicious and I eat them often. I have managed to not let what other people think bother me and simply eat how I eat and shake off any odd looks. It is tuff when a waiter/waitress gives you a look like there's all this good food here and you want bread or fries but I've learned to not let it bother me much. I really wish I knew some local adult picky eaters so we could get together and have a french fry lunch haha. Anyways I'm really glad there are others like me. Just be yourself and don't be ashamed of how you are. If someone doesn't like what I eat that is their problem and they should mind their own plate, because they couldn't possibly understand what we go thru unless they're in our shoes.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I wonder if we have a common relative because I was born and raised in the Western PA area around Pittsburgh.
Bob K
kimkim from wisconsin wrote on September 2, 2016 on 12:34 am:
wow! I knew i had a disorder but my therapist totally wrote off the idea. when i was younger i sought help from therapists but nobody would help so i gave up and just eat what i like. I only knew 2 people like me. My cousin and a guy in college who i beat as being pickier. I have been picky for as long as i can remember. My mom cooked only what i liked bc she wanted me to eat even if it meant more work. I eat steak and beef roast with any kind of potatoes. Why do they ruin mashed potatoes with chunks of something? I eat chicken baked or fried. I like plain bread or rolls and cheese garlic bread and pizza with sausage. I got adventurous in my 20s and added cheese to my burgers and ate cheesesteaks or roast beef sandwiches. I will gag if i tried any fruit or vegetable or salad or fish or beans. I like chocolate no nuts or fruit and plain cake yellow or choc and plain cookies. No sauces or spices but my friend introduced me to quesodillas. Just a harmless tortilla toasted up with chicken and cheese hold the disgusting guacamole and sour cream. My dad made it worse one day when he tried to force feed me peaches in syrup and my mom abandoned me there. He gave up. My cousins family teases me i only eat beige food. I avoid social gatherings and leave early if i have to attend. I offended my host family in France with my limited eating and also i dont like alcohol when their wine isa national symbol. I cant travel to exotic countries bc of the food. I couldnt join the military out of high school i knewi would starve. I couldnt join the Peace Corp out of college and go to Africa bc of the strange food. I used to be a healthy weight until i started a boring job and ate cookies every morning. Now i am overweight. I struggle with what to have for lunch at work and what to eat in the a.m. at work when i am hungry. I am so glad to have a diagnosis and hear other peoples stories.
RichardRichard from Surrey, UK wrote on August 29, 2016 on 12:11 am:
What a fantastic community! I was a 'white foods' child, with all meals consisting of some form of potato and meat, and nothing else. I'm now 31 and have been able to open out a bit to include rice, and pasta - basically lots of carbs. I'm also fine with most vegetables. (but no fruit whatsoever)

However, everything needs to be 'plain'. With a few exceptions (cheese, gravy and butter), I'm terrified of any sort of sauces/condiments, or elements that risk adding an unexpected flavour. I can be easily repulsed by someone nearby eating food with a strong flavour.

In restaurants, this limits me to 2 or 3 options. None of those available, or there's a chance they might have something weird added? Fries and bread for me.

If I have to eat a meal prepared by someone who doesn't know me, I'll have severe anxiety until I know that it's 'safe'.
phil bphil b from uk manchester wrote on August 28, 2016 on 1:34 pm:
hi im phil 42
i was diagnosed as bpd (9/9) in my 20s also apparently on the autisum scale, but my eating was always ignored ,i definetly suffer from arfid and some degree of body dysmorpia but have never received help for my eating probs but alongside severe mental health probs and cronic drug addiction(if its addictive ive had it,but i was mainly a heroin/cocaine user in the end) the eating dissorder aspect was totally forgotten.
fortunately im now clean and dealing with my bpd it would be nice to look at my food/body probs.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Over the years we have heard from very few people with our disorder who also had drug addition problems. Could be the fear of getting arrested and put in jail where food would then become a major problem.
LaurieLaurie from St. Louis wrote on August 28, 2016 on 9:53 am:
I've been a picky eater since early childhood. I continue to struggle with it today. Texture and smell are the primary factors in what I eat: certain foods (tuna, cauliflower) have an odor that brings on severe nausea. Eating these foods is not an option.
The social implications of this disorder have been crippling. Company dinners, friends gathering for a meal, family reunions are all events I avoid.
My parents, bless them, did their best to encourage me to try new foods. My brother, however, once held me by the throat, trying to force a piece of pot roast into my mouth. This further solidified my status as a social leper.
There is current ongoing medical research into human eating patterns, and why we like or dislike foods. Gut bacteria plays a larger role in food preferences than previously thought. As a child, I had many ailments (sinus infections, ear infections, kidney infections, then kidney failure), and was frequently on antibiotics, the use of which seems common among picky eaters. I believe there is a strong correlation, and some day, when medical science fully understands the bacterial role in digestion, there will be treatment, and possibly a cure for us.
Thank you for this website. I am relieved to know I am not alone in this ailment.
Admin Reply by: Bob
You really need to do some research on ARFID Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Which was entered into the DSM in 2013. Researchers from Duke University Hospital and UPMC did an indepth study into picky eating in adults and the result was the entry of ARFID into the DSM. It is a real disorder that you never asked to have. Bob K
RyanRyan wrote on August 28, 2016 on 12:58 am:
Hello from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. I'm 24, soon to be 25. Ever since I was a young boy, I was a picky eater. As I got older, I did slowly incorporate new foods to what I'll eat. But I do still consider myself a picky eater. Yes, I do have a fear of trying new foods because I feel I won't like them. I want to do a fitness program, but that will mean I have to eat new things I'm not used to. If I can't do that, I'll never do well in fitness. Does anybody have a solution as to what I can do?
JenJen from Florida wrote on August 26, 2016 on 2:24 am:
I'm so glad I am not alone. I've been a picky eater since I was little and I'm in my 30's now. I wish people would understand it. Both my kids are picky eaters to and my spouse is not. My son on top of it is Autistic and that make him even picker then me. I wish my spouse would understand that I'm a picky eater and that new foods scare me and I'm content eating pasta with cheese and butter. I can't eat foods that smell weird or funny or look different. I can't mix my foods and hate really soft cheeses (like cream cheese). My daughter is a picky liking just fries and pizza and now is being forced to eat what we eat and I can't do that to her. I have a soft spot that I can't do that to her because I find it mean to let her starve. I'm already getting anxiety about grocery day this weekend and not getting our familiar foods and the spouse doesn't understand and it just leads to arguments about how we'll get diabetes etc etc and I just don't know what to do or say anymore.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I started the website in 2003 and have heard about many parents who tried to use hardball tactics with few good results. You and your children actually have a recognized disorder called ARFID Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It is not a choice we have made it is just something most of us are born with. You have probably passed it on to your children and you are correct to worry about your spouse and their hardball tactics. It will only make things worse and probably lead to a separation or divorce. Try to find professional help that is knowledgeable about ARFID. That way your spouse just might back off when they find out you and your children actually have a real problem with food. Good luck Bob K
DebbyDebby from England wrote on August 25, 2016 on 1:38 pm:
Hi. I really thought I was on my own! I'm 49 and tbh have been a picky eater most of my life. Some of it was because I think my mum prefers plain foods and I just copied her, but as I've got older I find it's texture that stops me eating a lot of things. People ask me what I don't like and I usually answer with "it would be quicker to tell you what I DO like!" Pasta of any kind is a no-no, because of the texture, sauces on food or any soup ...again the texture puts me off. I don't like pizza because I can't face cheese or tomato. Sometimes I'm put off by the smell as to my mind food tastes as it smells, but some foods smell lovely and I just can't bring myself to put any of it in my mouth. If all food had the texture of crisps (potato chips to you US guys!) I'd be fine as I can eat any flavour imaginable when it comes to crisps! My friends are really good and do try to get me to try stuff but they don't push it. It would be SO nice to go out to a restaurant and not have to ask "can I have that dish but without such and such on it?" Think I'm a bit long in the tooth to change my ways now, but nice to know I'm not alone!
Admin Reply by: Bob
You could have inherited this genetically from your Mom. We have heard from lots of people that lead us to believe it can run through the gene pool. I like you can eat things that are crispy and I think it is because that makes it way easier to swallow. I have a hair trigger gag reflex that I deal with. Chewing very long and or hard can trigger it even if I like what I'm chewing. You are far from alone.