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KatieKatie from Bloomington wrote on August 10, 2019 on 7:45 pm:
Hi! My name’s Katie, and I’m actually a teenager, not an adult. I’m in high school, and I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 6. My mom is a vegetarian, and I have been too since I was born, but ever since I started feeding myself, my diet has become very restrictive. I eat most dairy products, most egg products, all grains but rice, and a few fruits. I can also eat almost all sweets. I don’t want to change the fact that I’m vegetarian for moral reasons, but I have found it extremely difficult to have such a restrictive diet at my age. I don’t understand what’s going on inside my brain, or why I can’t eat like other people, and I just feel broken and alienated. I do have depression and anxiety, which I really think would go away if I was able to get over my eating disorder. I’ve got a wonderfully supportive boyfriend, and a mom who’s specialized in dealing with cases of autism, and I’m seeing a therapist and a nutritionist and a woman who specializes in eating disorders. Yesterday, I went to my general therapist, and after I talked to her about how after all the therapy I’ve been through, I just keep hearing people tell me to suck it up and do it, because food would get better after exposure. She also said it was important for me to listen to my doctors because if I didn’t, I could really jeopardize my health and maybe my lifespan. I don’t wanna die early. I want to settle down and have a nice family and all that stuff. But most of all, I just wanna be able to explore the foods people around me love so much. As people who have been through what I have, do you know what I can do to help make it less scary to try foods? I was able to eat a few bites of salad yesterday because I was terrified I’d die if I didn’t. Is there any other way to control my fear of foods than thinking it’ll be fatal if I don’t? I feel stuck with three options: eat my regular diet, but jeopardize my health and be judged for it; don’t eat and have no stress about food but die very quickly; or try new foods as they tell me but have constant anxiety about eating. I want to go with the third option, but I need help and some advice to start a new phase of my life. Can any of you help me? I just wanna be a normal kid.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Most people with Asperger’s syndrome tend to have lots of problems with food. It appears I have a mild case but my eating is probably way worse than you. Long life I just turned 72 and have lived longer than most of my normal eating relatives. Can't figure that out. Your very lucky to have an understanding boyfriend and his mother. That is very rare. There are not magic bullets and you will probably have food issues your entire life. Things a person can have are way worse than our disorder. Go out and have a great life and just be the best you can be.
FernFern from Sheffield wrote on August 8, 2019 on 6:57 pm:
Hi there!
Im so glad this is not just me! I can't believe I am seeing poor folk here with lists smaller than mine! I can pinpoint when my fear started and what frustrates me is that I've tried... And tried.. And TRIED to put any kind of vegetable, fruit or most meats, but the story goes I was born with hip dysplasia and when I had an operation as a 21 month old, the first meal I had given to me in hospital, was liver and onions and because I wouldn't eat, I was force fed by a nurse. Since then I have been so afraid of food and it is so embarrassing. I've tried everything to help, even hypnotherapy to no avail. I just want to eat normally so I can actually diet properly and get the nutrients and vitamins I need and experience all the flavours in the world I am desperate to try. Has anyone managed to get help anywhere in the UK for this?
Admin Reply by: Bob
There appears to be a hypnotist named Felix somewhere in the UK that claims to cure people in just one day. Caution I really don't know if those claims are valid or not. Most of us have a really hard time trying to expand the variety of things we can eat.
AshleyAshley wrote on July 25, 2019 on 2:06 am:
I'm 19 and have been such a picky eater my whole life. I basically only eat mac and cheese, chicken, peanut butter sandwiches, french fries, and some things with sugar/chocolate. I'm going into my second year of college in the fall and it is very hard going to so many dinners with friends and sitting there since I didn't want to make them have to go to a restaurant at which I would eat something at. Last year, I would go to the dining hall with my friends almost every day, but at least half of the time, I would just sit there and watch them eat because they weren't serving anything I liked that day. My friends would ask me every now and then "why don't you just try it" and in my head I wanted to say because I'm literally gonna have a panic attack, but I always just laughed it off and said "I don't know". The last few times someone has made me try a new food, I have had panic attacks. These instances happened when I was like 12 or 13 and I haven't tried very many foods since then. My family and I have gone on many cruises and when it comes to those sit down dinners with the same waiters each night, I feel embarrassed ordering off the kid's menu and getting the same thing each night. But I would rather eat than sit and watch my family eat. It has just become the standard for me to order off the kid's menu if they don't have anything I want on the adult menu. I will only go to a handful of restaurants and out of those, I still only order off the adult menu half of the time. One of the times that I had a panic attack, my parents were forcing me to try banana pudding and I absolutely hate the smell of bananas. Anytime I smell it, it makes me wanna throw up. It took me 30 minutes to take a bite, after sitting there in tears in public as my parents watched me. I just hope that as time goes on, I can be able to try a food that they serve at most restaurants that I will actually like.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I feel your pain. I have been like you for 72 years now and still going strong. Part of the problem is that many foods do not look or smell like food to our brains. For us to put some things in our mouth is like eating barf or baby poop. Most people have some food they can't stand to eat and in our case we have many things that don't look like food. You should find out all you can about ARFID placed in the DMM in May 2013. I always say we never asked to be the way we are and we really would change if we could. Following my note is a link to a story on ABC TVs 20/20 news magazine. Amber has appeared on several TV shows to raise awareness about our disorder and reach people who are suffering alone. She is now a pr acting attorney in California. Know reason why you can't have a great life no matter how much you can eat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofgqx-OcmAU

Bob K
AutumnAutumn from Silverdale wrote on July 17, 2019 on 6:05 am:
I am 20 years old and since I was 4, I've always been picky. I eat very few items and growing up I lived off of grilled cheese, hot dogs, tacos (but wouldn't touch hamburgers), Mac and cheese, french fries(but can't eat mashed potatoes),very childlike things like that. It's how I've always been and I get shamed for it. I hate that I can't go out to eat because most places just don't have things that I can stomach. And going to friends houses gives me so much anxiety because then people are like "oh just eat it, stop being picky", "it's all in your mind, just get over it" and other things like that. When I eat something that I know I don't like or that I've tried before and I'm retrying, it makes me physically sick to the point where I throw up or I'm close to it. It's gotten to the point where it's causing me to not want to eat around people or in public because of the ridicule

I could drone on and on, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one
Admin Reply by: Bob
We all know just how you feel. The social stigma is one of the very worst consequences of having ARFID. Strive to keep from being social isolated because it is just food. No reason you can't have a great life.
JamesJames from Marietta wrote on July 13, 2019 on 8:17 am:
I am 31 years old and ever since I can remember I have had severe food aversions. I eat mostly french fries or hash browns and a few select other foods. It was especially hard growing up in social settings having to explain why I didn't want to eat what everyone else was having. My health is very affected by this and I just found out about this group and was surprised I actually was not alone in this struggle.

I have a 3 year old son and I want and need to set a good example for him and see him grow up.
GavinGavin wrote on July 7, 2019 on 6:38 am:
I'm 21 years old and for as long as I can remember I have always ate very few foods. My parents use to almost force me to try new foods but I had absolutely no desire too. I have always been under weight (5 foot 8 120 pounds)and small due to my eating habits. Growing up in school I never ate luch, I would rather go all day without eating then try new foods. When I would spend the night at my friends house I would either not eat while I was there or I would bring my own food. This has a tremendous impact on my life and it has since I was a kid. I just recently found out that there are people like me and it really makes me feel relived and not alone.

Ps I eat friends and chicken almost every meal every day. I do eat a wide variety of junk food like candy and snack cakes. I drink Dr pepper everyday all day. I just get so turned off by the look of some foods and the smell.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I just get so turned off by the look of some foods and the smell.

Many of us feel the same way. Some foods just don't look or smell like food to us. You are not alone and you would change if you could. Nobody ever chose to have the issues with food that we have.

Even some very famous people have it.
SaraSara from Marietta wrote on July 1, 2019 on 12:55 am:
I’m actually not an adult, I’m a teenager, but my eating habits and weight cause me so many problems, and I don’t think my eating habits will ever change. I can’t try new foods without having a full blown panic attack. It makes me embarrassed to go to friends houses, go out to eat, or do anything related to food. Not only do I have a lot of self-hatred because of how I eat, but also the people around me hate it. My stepmom has been ridiculing me about my diet since I was 8. Which really started my anxiety about eating around people. I just wish I knew how to fix it, I just want to eat like a normal person. I want to eat veggies and eggs and beef and all sorts of other foods. I’m tired of being the fat kid that only eats pizza and fried chicken. But I just don’t know how to try foods without breaking down.
Admin Reply by: Bob
You could have what I have. ARFID Avoidance Restrictive Foot Intake Disorder. It was recognized in 2013 by the medical community. It can manifest itself in many ways. If your eating causes you social embarrassment then you might be one of us. Sorry your stepmom seems it's OK to ridicule you about it. I suggest you do some more research and discover all you can about ARFID. One other thing I have learned about the disorder change is possible but very difficult to achieve. Just know that you are not alone and there are thousands of people all over the world with it. In my opinion I believe my teen years were the most difficult because other teens can be very cruel.
YusufYusuf from Bangi, Malaysia wrote on June 19, 2019 on 7:26 pm:
Finding this site just blew my mind. Throughout my 20 years of life I really thought that I was alone with my condition in this world. I was browsing Reddit until I stumbled upon an ARFID post. Thank you for making this site Bob K. I really really thought that I will never ever find a person like me.

Although, I'm not as severe as other picky eaters. There's one thing that stood out to me. Malaysian is an Asian country, with rice being their general and everyday and almost every mealtime food. Guess what I can't eat? Rice. Not only that I don't eat seafood, Malay dishes, some gravy-type dish (which is common here), and anything rice related. I can eat various other things though such as chicken, beef, bread, pasta, a certain type of noodles with a certain brand, oats, fruits, vegetables, etc.

It's really hard for me to go to social events such as weddings, gatherings, camps, everyday life in a university, lunch time etc. I want to be cured from this behaviour but I've yet to find anyone like in Malaysia. I will start contacting Mental Health Association here in Malaysia for help. I've hidden this behaviour pretty much from everyone else except from my family.

Anyways, thank you for this website I really have feel somewhat relieved that what I'm experiencing is a disorder (I am not diagnosed and never met anyone to make such diagnosis btw) and that I'm not alone like this.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Yes we have heard from people all over the world. Both rich and poor countries. Most people do tend to hid it from other people because of the social embarrassment. You are not alone.
TomTom from France wrote on June 19, 2019 on 6:35 pm:
I feel a bit relieved that I'm not alone. Thank you for creating this website and community.
I am 28 years old and I've never eaten meat, fish, vegetables or... the list too long. Actually I've been eating mostly French fries, plain pasta, biscuits, candies, crisps, bread and raspberries. Only very recently I started eating apples (only Pink Lady type) and Margherita pizzas. Even as a baby, my mom never succeeded in making me eat meat.
It's very shameful for me and I'm very self conscious. I have to lie to all my friends and colleagues, I have to keep finding new excuses to avoid eating out...
Please tell me there's a way for me to be able to eat like a normal person. Every time I try something new, there's a knot in my throat and/or I vomit...
Admin Reply by: Bob
One thing that can help is stop lying to your close friends. If you tell them you just found out you had a disorder called ARFID Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and explain how it has affected your life you won't have to tell as many lies and you should be able to relax more. ARFID can manifest itself in many ways and different extremes. Most website start with the extreme before they get to our version. Try learning to eat just one new food each year. Doesn't seem like much but over time it can make a real difference. We have not seen any real total cures that are believable. Glad you found us.
Bob K
Kelsey SmithKelsey Smith from Jacksonville, Al wrote on June 18, 2019 on 1:07 am:
I am overwhelmed with emotions in finding this website. I am 20 years old and have suffered from picky eating my entire life. I hate going on family vacations, Thanksgiving is a nightmare, and dates are almost impossible. It's so nice to see that I'm not the only one!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Many of us in the group refer to Thanksgiving as Black Thursday. Not many happy memories for me on that holiday especially when I was a teenager. Welcome you have stumbled onto thousands of people all over the world who suffer as you do. Researchers at Duke University hospital have given it a name. ARFID. Still as bad as it may seem there are so many other things a person can have that are way worse. Probably should clue in your parents and loved ones that it is a real disorder that you never asked to have. I'm 72 and overall I have had a really great life.
Bob K
BenBen from Wellington,NZ wrote on June 15, 2019 on 10:42 am:
Hi, I have been a picky eater since the age of 5, prior to that i would eat whatever was put in front of me, but it seemed a switch was clicked on in my mind back then, and since that time (I am now 43) foods, that i have been told that I loved, like cheese and vegetables, now fill me with dread. I will check menus before going to restaurants to make sure there is something on the menu that i can eat. If there isn't, i will make an excuse or suggest alternative restaurants. I never felt it was a condition as such, just that was I was fussy, but felt that others saw me as someone that wasn't "trained" correctly as a child. I came across the group by accident, but i am glad to see that what i go through, i don't go through alone, and there are variations and variables in what we all experience.
AliciaAlicia wrote on June 7, 2019 on 4:59 am:
I'm Alicia and I'm 30 years old. I have suffered from my eating disorder since I was a child. I didn't eat much growing up due to my fear of food and pickiness and it carried over to adulthood. I am not comfortable around food and can't go to places with food, have meals with friends or family. I stay isolated. It's nice to find a group here that I can relate with others. I've tried everything to get over this. I'm underweight because of it & it's become quite severe.
EmyleeEmylee from Fayetteville, NC wrote on June 6, 2019 on 4:27 am:
What a wonderful community. I am 19 years old and have always suffered because of my eating disorder. I can't go out to eat at new places, I can't go to cookouts, and I am completely contrasting with my husband who will eat anything you put in front of him. So happy to know that I am not alone in this. I pray that one day there will be a legitimate solution to this problem.
Jason Draven Ashe SaucierJason Draven Ashe Saucier from Lafayette wrote on June 3, 2019 on 5:07 am:
Wish I could leave a longer message here but I'll do that another day.
I mostly wanted to say that I'm crying tears of joy right now because of the fact that this exists.

I have been suffering from this all my life and never had a name for it and never met anyone exactly like me. I've met other picky eaters that just dont eat a couple of things but nothing ever close to me.

As a kid to teen, I ate tenders, pancakes, waffles, obviously sweets, fries, crackers, and that's about it.

Around puberty, the doc told me I needed to gain weight in order to appropriately hit puberty and introduced me to peanut butter.
I would then eat peanut butter solo with a spoon for months until I started putting it on toast and that's when i would eat bread more often.

It worked and now my palate has grown to burgers, bacon, lettuce, sometimes egg, cheeses, pizza, and most recently, my close friend helped pushed me to try my first noodles last week. I don't like it at all but I tried it!

The social aspect of all this really affected me and still does today.
I never felt more alien than when I told someone I never had a noodle before.
They looked at me like I lost their child or something.

If anyone reads this, you're not alone as long as I'm here and it's okay to have what you have.
Admin Reply by: Bob
So glad you found us. The main purpose of this website started in 2003 was too be a beacon to attract those of us with our disorder thinking we were the only ones. We now no there are lots of people in this world just like us. Now I have tears in my eyes. Thanks for your guest book post.
Bob K
MiaMia wrote on May 28, 2019 on 8:27 pm:
It's been a while since I posted here on this website. I would like to say it is getting better: I can now eat pork, dry edamames and nibble on oranges. I have been going to therapy from October onwards at first every other week, but the therapist said we should have the sessions every week. I would like to share some of my experiences in therapy for anyone who wants to give it a try. So here it is:

She said I can't try new foods because of how much stress I have put on myself and the stress I get from my enviornment. Through that combination of putting such a high expectation for myself and my loved ones enforcing that expectation, I overwhelm myself and get so anxious I just start crying over thinking about it.

The best way she thought to do it was through mental exposure and a step by step process I would have to follow before eating a new food. Mental exposure means I imagined eating one certain food and the step by step process was about the steps I took to literally (not figuratively) eating the food (i.e. picking up the food, getting it towards the mouth, etc.)
She said if I get overwhelmed or if I become anxious just to stop and calm down. If you can't do it again, so what? What's the worst that could happen? You didn't try it, but you can try again when you are less anxious.

I have had success in trying these steps and I think many others can find success doing these too. I have faced a lot of pressure from my family on many other things not even related to eating, so solving the issue I am having with picky eating needs to happen by growing my confidence, learning to lower my expectations, and getting my family to fully support me through this.

It's going to be difficult, but I'll keep you guys posted on how much I'm learning about how to eat other foods to anyone who wants to know.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thank you so much and please keep those updates coming no matter how good or bad your experience is. We are all routing for you to succeed.
Bob K
BriaBria wrote on May 23, 2019 on 11:12 pm:
Hi, I’m 18 and I truly thought I was the only person that was like this. I’m not sure why I am like this. I hate textures and smells I feel and smell things more than most people and i don’t know why. I grew up in a toxic environment and lost both parents at 8 years old and before that it was a life that no child should go through . I want so badly to try new things but I can’t I try and try but I end up bailing or throwing up right after.
HenriqueHenrique wrote on May 17, 2019 on 1:04 am:
I'm so happy to have found this website! I'm a 30 year old man from Brazil who pretty much only eats chicken, fries and rice. I used to be extremelly skinny, because I would rarely eat anything unless there was something I liked on the table. When I started working I started buying stuff for myself and I got fat from drinking too much soda and only eating unhealthy snacks. I'm off to read everything on this website now. I may come back to share more later.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Welcome
ИринаИрина from Москва wrote on May 3, 2019 on 9:55 pm:
Яндекс
Мне даже не верится, что я нашла этот сайт. 11 лет я ищу ответы на вопросы. Я из России. Я мама подростка. Мой сын с самого раннено детства не проявлял интерес к еде . Он никогда не хотел пробовать что-то новое, никогда ничего не тащил в рот.
Детское пюре ел 1 ложку. В детском саду ходил голодный. Его меню становитчя хуже и вреднее.
Он в школе не ест ничегт, голодает. С собой носить не хочет. У него комплексы. Он ест только молоко, коктейли, сок без мякоти, печенье определенных марок, сухарики, чипсы, очень редко хлеб с маслом. Из фруктов только яблоко, порезанное на кусочки. Не пробовал овощи, мясо.
Он не ходит в гости, на дни рождения. Он не пошел на выпускной в начальной школе. На выпускном был мастер класс по приготовлению гамбургера.
Он не выносит запахов еды. Текстуры играют огромную роль. Очень тяжело. Я так переживаю за него. Мы скрываем это даже от друзей. Люди не понимают. Смеются даже врачи. Я не вожу еего давно к врачам, тк меня однажды обвинили, что вина толтко моя. Они думают, что я его заставляла есть. Но этого не было. Однажды меня назвали преступницей, что я кормлю сына печеньем. Но он не будет есть больше ничего.
Я думала никто не понимает нас, ни у кого нет такой проблемы.

Translation:
I can't believe I found this website. 11 years I've been looking for answers. I am from Russia. I'm a teenager's mom. My son from early childhood did not show interest in food . He never wanted to try something new, never dragged anything into his mouth.
Baby puree ate 1 spoon. In kindergarten went hungry. His menu is getting worse and more harmful.
He doesn't eat anything at school, he's starving. To carry does not want. He has complexes. He eats only milk, cocktails, juice without pulp, biscuits certain brands, crackers, chips, very rarely bread and butter. From fruits only Apple, cut on pieces of. Didn't try the vegetables and meat.
He doesn't go to parties, birthdays. He didn't go to prom in elementary school. At the graduation was a master class in cooking hamburger.
He can't stand the smell of food. Textures play a huge role. Very hardly. I'm so worried about him. We hide it even from friends. People don't understand. Even doctors laugh. I don't take her to the doctors for a long time, because I was once accused that my fault toltko. They think I made him eat. But it wasn't. I was once called a criminal for feeding my son cookies. But he won't eat anything else.
I thought nobody understood us, nobody had that problem.

Entry content:
Yandex
I can't even believe what I found this site. 11 years I am looking for answers to questions. I'm from Russia. I'm a teenage mom. My son, from his early childhood, showed no interest in food. He never wanted to try something new, never pulled anything into his mouth.
Baby puree ate 1 spoon. In kindergarten went hungry. His menu is getting worse and more harmful.
He doesn't eat anything at school, he starves. Does not want to wear with you. He has complexes. He eats only milk, cocktails, juice without pulp, cookies of certain brands, crackers, chips, very rarely bread and butter. From fruit only apple, cut into pieces. I have not tried vegetables, meat.
He does not go to visit, on birthdays. He did not go to graduation in elementary school. At the prom was a master class on cooking hamburger.
He can not stand the smell of food. Textures play a huge role. Very hard. I'm so worried about him. We hide it even from friends. People don't understand. Even doctors laugh. I do not take it to the doctors for a long time, because once I was accused that my fault was my fault. They think I made him eat. But this was not. Once I was called a criminal that I feed my son cookies. But he will not eat anything else.
I thought no one understood us, no one has such a problem.
I can't believe this website. 11 years I've been looking for answers. I am from Russia. I'm a teenager's mom. Show in food. He never wanted anything else to his mouth.
Baby puree ate 1 spoon. In kindergarten went hungry. His menu is getting worse and more harmful.
He doesn't eat anything at school, he's starving. To carry does not want. He has complexes. He eats only milk, cocktails, juice without pulp, biscuits certain brands, crackers, chips, very rarely bread and butter. From fruits only Apple, cut on pieces of. Didn't try the vegetables and meat.
He doesn't go to parties, birthdays. He didn't go to prom in elementary school. At the graduation was a master class in cooking hamburger.
He can't stand the smell of food. Textures play a huge role. Very hardly. I'm so worried about him. We hide it even from friends. People don't understand. Even doctors laugh. I don't take her to the doctors for a long time, because I was once accused that my fault toltko. They think I made him eat. But it wasn't. I was once called a criminal for feeding my son cookies. But he won't eat anything else.
I thought nobody understood us, nobody had that problem.
Admin Reply by: Bob
We have heard your story from all over the world. Thanks for posting
Bob K
JordynJordyn wrote on April 28, 2019 on 10:13 pm:
I am 21 years old about to be 22 and being a picky eater pretty much defines me to everyone I know. It is honestly embarrassing at times because I feel like I eat like an 8 year old - my family and friends all say that I do - but I can’t help it. New things disgust me. I hate condiments. I do not eat any sauces, dressings, or anything and people think it’s the craziest and most ridiculous thing ever. But I just do not like it. I am really picky with the way things are prepared. It is so hard when I go out to eat with new people like my boyfriends family because all I want to eat is chicken fingers but he says that I need to order “adult” food. My family is accepting of it and I really do try to try new things but I do not even want to. I am content with eating what I do. I like some veggies and some fruits but I am really particular. I am glad to know there are so many other people out there who go through the same struggle because now I do not feel so ridiculous. It honestly sucks to be this way but it is just how I am and I wish more people could understand and accept that.
I think my taste buds are just different from everyone else. I can’t help it.
Susan KenningSusan Kenning from St. Cloud, MN wrote on April 27, 2019 on 10:41 pm:
I have always been picky. My mom always tells the story of a friend’s mom making me eat green beans, and I threw up right at the table. I like most meats, if they are very plain. No veggies, except corn and potatoes. I’ll eat oranges and grapes, and sometimes apples. I hate cheese, fish, most sauces, any kind of casserole... the list goes on and on. It’s really made life a challenge. I don’t know anyone else with this problem, so it’s a relief that there are others!