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MeganMegan from Charlottesville, VA wrote on January 1, 2018 on 4:11 am:
All of these stories and diet sound almost exactly like mind. I’ve had selective eating since I was a toddler, cannot eat any vegetables except mashed potatoes, and generally fill my meals with carbohydrates and “white and yellow” foods. Over the last seven years, I’ve had some moments when I wake up one day able to eat something new... there’s no way to describe the onset of change, but a plain cheeseburger, scrambled eggs, and brownies suddenly appeared on my brain’s “safe food” list for no apparent reason. I am thankful that I eat better than I did in high school and before that, but I have a long ways to go before I will feel like a normal eater. My New Year’s resolution for 2018 will be to explore every avenue of overcoming this problem: hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and whatever else I come across that may help my health and well-being. Wishing all of you luck in the new year! Hope you’ll find improvement and change too.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Most people who try hypnotherapy have had negative results. Good luck with your new year's resolution.
Bob K
RebeccaRebecca from Vermont wrote on December 28, 2017 on 2:49 pm:
I’ve been a “picky eater” since I was about 2 (I’m 50 now). Finding this web page has brought me a lot of hope, as I thought I was the only person to eat like this for most my life. I look around this site though and discovered I’m doing better than I thought. I have irrational fears about food – it doesn’t look right, or taste okay, or smells weird, but the worst is the texture of most things. There’s not much logic to most of it either. I can’t handle any fruits and vegetables except raw carrots, and then they have to be skinny baby carrots. Mayonnaise and Ketchup gross me out. I have to know exactly what is in everything I eat – casseroles are just plain “no way, not eating it” foods.
Potluck dinners are painful to get through. I’ve learned one or two dishes I like that I do in a crockpot for the potluck, and when I go through the line I grab the smallest plate I can find and eat only my own food and maybe a roll. Then I get up from the table and walk around talking to people so folks don’t notice I’m not eating anything else.
I have discovered that if something is piping hot I can eat it easier than if its cold. I don’t like soup or sandwiches, so Lunch is difficult for me. I eat beef, chicken and some pork. Potatoes are great, rice can be okay, and pasta only with Ragu plain spaghetti sauce. Nothing with chunks in it. I love cheese, crackers, chips, chocolate and Coca-cola. Weight is a problem for me because what I eat are all high calorie foods. I can’t stand leftovers. I end up throwing a lot of food out because I’m afraid of it making me sick or making me gag.
I would love to be able to go to a restaurant and not have to look at the menu first. To be able to sit down at someones house and know I could eat whetever they put in front of me withoyt telling them in advance what I can eat. To not constantly worry what will be available for food no matter where I go. Food stress is my biggest issue every day. To find out through your web page that there are others that know how I feel is such a relief. I thought about more counseling to figure out how to eat different, but just the thought of telling someone who might make me try something new makes me terrified. Thanks for having this place for us to share.
Admin Reply by: Bob
You have lots of company that know just what your life is like and you never chose to have our eating disorder. No reason you can't have a great life.
AlAl wrote on December 22, 2017 on 10:29 pm:
It's Al again.. I told my boyfriend last night about all of this... and he was very accepting and offered his full support. I wasn't surprised, because I know that he loves me, but it was a massive weight off of my shoulder.
I know there isn't a total cure for ARFID, but if I could even incorporate 5 new foods into my diet than I would be over the moon; it would really change my life.
I'm very thankful for this site, that allows people like us to know that they're not alone.
Merry Christmas!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thanks Al. Now that your boyfriend knows you life will have way less stress in it. Make a new years resolution to learn to 2 foods in the coming year. I know that worked for someone in the past. Harder than it sounds but give it a good shot. Merry Christmas
AlAl wrote on December 21, 2017 on 6:13 am:
I haven't been diagnosed with ARFID, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I have it. For as long as I can remember I have had an issue with food; I can name more food that I DO eat than ones I don't. I'm 19 now and I've noticed more and more how it affects me, especially since I have a boyfriend now. He knows only to an extent that I'm 'picky' about food, but he has no idea exactly how picky I am. I want to get help for it so badly, I don't think I can live like this forever, but I really don't know where to turn. I guess I just feel really overwhelmed. Since ARFID is just more recently been accepted as a true disorder, I guess I'm wary that I'm going to go into a doctors office and they won't take me seriously.
Admin Reply by: Bob
If your doctor does not take you seriously than it might be time for a new doctor. Cure for ARFID is really hard to accomplish. But you can add some items to your diet over time. You would be wise to let your boyfriend in on your little secret. If he can't accept you the way you are then moving on to a new boyfriend may be what you will need to do. While ARFID can cause much distress at times. There are so many other things a person could have that are way worse. No reason why you can't have a happy long life no matter how many things you can eat.
Bob K
VictoriaVictoria from Louisiana wrote on December 20, 2017 on 9:25 am:
I'm 19 and while I haven't been formally diagnosed with ARFID yet, I have been dealing with most of the symptoms of it for as long as I can remember. Which, of course, means my family has been on my case about my diet for as long as I can remember. My mom has only recently come around to realizing how deep the issue goes for me and has pretty much stopped pressing me to try new foods because now she understands how much harder it is for me. As a kid she'd constantly try to get me to eat healthy foods, but it just didn't work out-of course, everyone she would talk to for advice told her to either force me to eat it anyway or not let me eat anything else until I did. Forcing me to eat was not a great option, but not letting me eat the foods I liked until I ate healthy foods was not any better. For one thing, my parents have been divorced since I was about a year old and I saw my dad at least once a week, and he always fed me whatever I wanted anyway. The other issue was that giving me that ultimatum just meant that I refused to eat. She said it really became obvious that it wasn't just me being stubborn a couple of years ago when we took a vacation to the UK: there were several times when we were surrounded by or offered food that I didn't like, so I just went hungry until we found food that I liked (we were in a large tour group and didn't always have the ability to go wherever we wanted). Issues like this where food I liked was unavailable for a period of time, plus my depression, plus the fact that my Vyvanse prescribed for my ADD lowered my appetite means that my weight has been just at the line between healthy and underweight for several years now. I usually avoid going places where there will be food unless I'm certain that one of my safe foods will be there, or at the very least I bring snacks. Whenever I say that I'm a picky eater, people either look at me like I'm a snob or they start lecturing me about my health and trying new things. I get very anxious in social situations regarding food because of this. I hope to get my doctor's opinion on this soon and hopefully get a diagnosis. I don't know that I'll ever get over it, or at least if I'll be working on recovering any time soon, but it would just be so much nicer if I could tell people I have an eating disorder instead of just saying that I'm picky... It seems like people might take it more seriously then.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I'm no doctor but it sure sounds to me like you have ARFID. If most of the foods you can't eat don't really look like food that is one sign of the disorder. There are others.
Bob K
LauraLaura from Anthem wrote on December 19, 2017 on 5:09 pm:
I just turned 50 last month and have been a very picky eater my whole life. My mother says it stems from my father who was picky. My mother tried everything to get me to eat...from forcing to shaming to even bribing me (she offered me $100 to eat steak and I refused). At one point, she took me to a doctor to find out what was wrong. The Dr told her I was healthy and basically told her to let go. I am very thankful for my mom because she always had food she knew I liked and didn't press the issue. But life wasn't easy, I avoided social situations because it seemed society made everything revolve around food. Even nowadays and I can't eat most things served in restaurants. I didn't even date for years because I didn't think any man would understand. It was very difficult. Very demeaning. Twenty years ago, I met my now husband. When we first started dating, he thought I was anorexic because I refused to eat in front of him or go to a restaurant but when he learned about my issue, he didn't care. He loved me first who I was. Over the years, I have become a great cook, mostly because I wanted to avoid restaurants so I made sure my husband was well fed. I have tried alot more foods but still, my taste buds are off and I usually don't like it. It is very frustrating still as the social aspect is ongoing especially in work, most people still do not understand and often ask too many questions which make me uncomfortable. I find it funny actually because society is so accepting of people who are different but they refuse to accept a picky eater. Finding this website is comforting and I am very lucky to find a man who accepts me despite my issue. But I really wish I was normal sometimes. And by the way, I am 50, I look like i'm in my 30s. I take no medications, I am thin, I workput, I hike, I bike...I feel great so being picky does not equal unhealthy.
MeaganMeagan from Bowling Green wrote on December 18, 2017 on 1:51 am:
I am so thankful that I stumbled across this page. It is amazing to know that I am not alone in this. My name is Meagan and I am 22 years old. Everyone around me has for the most part been supportive. My parents did try to force me to eat veggies and whatnot early on, but soon just encouraged me to try a new thing every once in a while, when they realized that I would not eat what they put in front of me. My mom was convinced I was a super taster or something of that nature. Probably because her cousin only ate hotdogs, steak, French fries, and peanut butter sandwiches from childhood through adulthood. Not only my family, but my friends, too, accepted this about me. I wouldn't say that there is a particular event that scarred me or turned me off to any particular foods per say, but according to my parents I ate green beans, carrots, etc. (won't touch those) among other veggies and fruits as a toddler. Out of the blue, I just stopped. My big issue is textures. If I have to chew for too long or if the food is slimy, mushy, stringy, etc. I cannot bring myself to swallow whatever it may be. Me trying new foods is preceded by intense anxiety to the point where I will panic cry and try every possible way to get out of it. On a sweeter note, I will eat ALL KINDS of desserts. I don’t really have a problem with sweets unless they have obvious chunks of fruit in them, but lots of fruit flavors I like. My first thought when attending anything away from home is, "What will I eat there? Should I eat before I go? What can I say to get out of eating whatever is being served?" It’s a constant battle. The weird thing is that I LOVE learning about food, watching food network, cooking with/for my family and I think that is what keeps me sane. Most food smells amazing and I love to learn different food/flavor combinations, BUT I would never eat any of it...I don't really want to most of the time. Seeing what I make being enjoyed by others, rather than tasting it myself is definitely what I prefer. Everyone knows I am picky eater. And thank god for that. Going over to my family's house is never a big deal because a cheese/pepperoni pizza, cheese quesadillas, French fries, grilled cheeses, or crispy chicken nuggets are always prepared along with what everyone else is eating, like it is no different than their meals. I am so appreciative of that. SO, appreciative. I have always known I have been different and a lot of the time I try to embrace it, but I also have days where I feel like a complete outsider with no solution to my issue. One day, I would love to eat whatever is placed in front of me, but it is nice to know that it’s okay if I don’t.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Meagan
Thanks for leaving your post in our guest book. Your post show that some of what we have may be running through our genes as your mother said about her cousin having similar problems.
Have a great holiday meal with your loved ones.
Bob K
TT from Chicago wrote on December 4, 2017 on 11:50 pm:
Im 37 and i have been picky all my life id rather go hungry if theres nothing in the house id eat the odd thing about me is i also have to be in the mood for my safe food or i wont eat that either ill cook for my kids then go munch on chips which i know is such a bad example i love cereal and pizza im 5ft8 and only 120lbs i want to gain weight my goal for 2018 is get over this and stop looking like a teen
CrystalCrystal from New Palestine wrote on December 1, 2017 on 8:15 pm:
I have been a "picky eater" my entire life with a phobia of vomiting on the side. It didn't bother me much as long as I could eat my "safe foods" which was a wide enough range to maintain a healthy weight eating whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
A few months ago I got food poisoning for the first time and if I didn't have ARFID before that, I definitely do now. I think about vomiting everytime I think about putting food anywhere close to my mouth. I mistake any feeling in my stomach for nausea, including hunger, which cuases my appetite to vanish while my stomach remains in pain. My "safe foods" that I could eat an abundancy of are now limited to eat until the slightest feeling of fullness or mistaken nausea appears. Because of this I have lost 15 lbs that I cannot gain back, which has left me almost underweight.
I'm at a loss for what to do but I'm hoping with plenty of research and support, I can overcome this and start eating better than I ever have.
NicoleNicole from Little Compton wrote on November 29, 2017 on 1:45 pm:
I need to read about this...my daughter is the pickiest eater I have ever met.
PoppyPoppy from Hereford wrote on November 28, 2017 on 5:27 pm:
I thought I was the only one! Going over to friends house for tea is so frustrating especially when they tell me they're doing something i cant touch for tea, such as shepherds pie. :( It makes me feel so anxious having to announce that im a picky eater. Plus, I suffer from gastro eosophical reflux which doesn't help.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Some people do hide there eating by just saying I suffer from something that limits my eating what you will be having. However I would like to join you for the Tea part of the meeting. No need to tell them what you really have. Lots of people have medical issues that limit what they can eat.
YvetteYvette from Daleville wrote on November 24, 2017 on 5:10 pm:
I wanted to add some information to my previous entry. The foods I can eat for breakfast is cereal but can't get soggy, bagels, biscuits, very crispy bacon, hashbrowns (only from McDonalds), pancakes, waffles, french toast. For lunch or dinner- cheese pizza but can't have pieces of tomatoes or other vegetables in the sauce or a lot of cheese on it, tomato soup (only Campbells), crackers, peanut butter, grilled cheese, french fries but can't be too thick.

Apples I can eat if they are crisp and sweet (not cooked). The only way I have found to be able to eat fruit and vegetables is to juice and make smoothies. But there can't be any pieces in it so I will strain it.

I am so glad to not be alone. I know there are others that can't eat as much as me or eat other things than me.
Thanks for having this website.
Danielle CDanielle C from Milwaukee wrote on November 22, 2017 on 8:41 pm:
Finding this website is literally a godsend for me right now. I have been a picky eater all of my life. This has been such a sore topic in my life and honestly I'm tired of hiding and trying to get people to understand. They tried to force feed me as a child, I've been made made fun of by family,friends,coworkers etc , I've pretended to eat food,hide it or act like I just ate to not appear "weird". Yet at 32 I still ear nothing more than chips,French fries,cereal,breaded chicken or shrimp. All of my foods have to be crunchy and I dont eat vegetables but I love fruit. I have 2 children that I try to offer more foods but its hard when my palette and so bland and I'm not sure what it should taste like. Me not being much of cook is a big insecurity for me especially now that I am in a new relationship. He knows I'm picky but I dont think he quite understands how serious and difficult it is for me. I'm scared it will put tension between us eventually. As I write this I just want to cry because something I have no control over has affected every part of my life. I just want to be normal
Admin Reply by: Bob
I suggest that you tell your new relationship about how you eat and you can throw in you never wanted to be this way and you would change if you could. The longer you wait the more potential damage it will do to the relationship. I had two marriages that lasted 3 years each and before my 3rd wife and I went on our first date I told her just how bad it was and don't ever expect me to get any better. That was about 20 years ago and we are still happily married. If your new relationship is strong you should stay together. If not better to find out now that it's going to be a big problem and move on to someone who will love you just the way you are. I would bet you are gifted in other ways. You should point that out to your new relation ship and also how you will be so loving and loyal if they accept you just the way you are. Good Luck Bob K
YvetteYvette from Daleville wrote on November 22, 2017 on 6:18 pm:
Hi I am so glad to find a website and group about this. I have been this way since I was 2 years old. I have done some mild cognitive therapy on myself to eat some things over the years but I still mainly consists of cheese pizza and french fries for lunch and dinner.
HeatherHeather from Hamilton wrote on November 18, 2017 on 7:47 pm:
Ive been crying today over my problem and wonder if anyone out there is like me. Glad to find a site that may be some help to me. Im having a really hard time due to my many fears with food and with Thanksgiving coming up its really been hard. Not only do i have fears of food but i have fears of eating food made by others, fears of eating off silverware, plates, drinking out of glasses, fear of using pot, pans and utinsils that have been used to make foods i dont like or have been put in Kitchen sink. I wish mine was just about food. Being like this is embarrasing and the anxiety and panic from it at times feels like im dying inside. I dont know who to talk to because no one understands me or the pain inside from being like this. I dont eat anything anyone touches or makes. I remember as a girl at school i would throw away whatever my mom packed on my luch that wasnt pre packaged. I never would never eat school lunches either. Im a strict vegetarian/ vegan and get grosdef out very easily!
My boyfriend has invited me to his moms house for thanksgiving and i have been crying cause i told him id go but what am i gonna do around the table for dinner? I wont eat anything thats been made nor will i eat off the plate, use the silverware or drink out of the glass. Ive only went to one other thanksgiving and that was 16 yrs ago at my ex husbands families house. It was a horrible time. I was laughed at and the jokes at me were not funny. I remember feeling as if my insides were crying. I was so upset. I want all of these fears, phobias or whatever it is to go away. I just want to beable to go to peoples houses or out to dinner or just beable to eat anywhere without being a big embarrassment! Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks
Admin Reply by: Bob
Sounds like you may have ARFID to some degree. But to me it appears that you have major OCD issues. I would bet many others have told you that before. OCD treatments can help but the condition from what I have seen over the years can really be difficult to conquer. I like you have never had a good Thanksgiving day in my entire life. Most of the time I have always found a way to avoid the big dinner at all cost and show up later to share some time with my family members and loved ones. Your boyfriend has got you trapped into a terrible situation for you. You should express to him why you would rather not be trapped into sitting at a diner table with lots of people you have never met who probably will say some very hurtful things to you. And if he says you can bring your own food, plates, silverware etc. Thet would probably be just as bad. No easy answer here. In my case I'm taking my wife on a 7 day cruise this year to avoid the family diner. If your boyfriend is not understanding about your issues you might think about a new boyfriend. Good luck to you. I really do feel your pain. Our lives can be a daily bag of stress.
CheyenneCheyenne wrote on November 18, 2017 on 5:24 am:
I am such a picky eater. What I eat is mostly by texture, bananas make me throw up, and apple sauce which I love makes me gag. I cannot even think about eating egg yolk or oatmeal. Most of this food I do enjoy so it is very hard when you are out for food with someone and can only eat a select few things on the menu.
MichelleMichelle wrote on November 17, 2017 on 2:28 am:
42 year of this and defending myself and embarrassment and everything that goes along with it. I cried so hard when I found this is a real thing. Crying now
Admin Reply by: Bob
Cry no more. Now I'm crying with you.
Bob K
CJCJ wrote on November 15, 2017 on 2:19 am:
I cannot begin to describe the relief I feel to know that I am not the only one who has experienced this. As a 20 year old college student, I stress daily about meals and what my future is going to be like due to the fact that I can only get myself to eat the same foods that I have always ate. From dinner with my friends, to fundraisers with captains and admirals, I am always left trying to explain why I spend more time looking at my food than eating it. I hope to someday not have this dilemma, but for now its good to know that I am not alone.
CheyenneCheyenne from Lancaster wrote on November 5, 2017 on 12:03 am:
I’m so happy there’s others like me. I am 19 and I’ve been struggling with this eating disorder for as long as I can remember. When I was a child I ate a wide variety of food. Almost everything. And as I grew older I started hating all of it. I don’t even “try” foods. Even foods I used to eat. I just jump to the assumption that I hate it. It’s so hard to go out to dinner with my boyfriend or his family. There is only so many places that I will eat and if it is somewhere I haven’t eaten I have to look up the menu first. I hate most chicken besides chicken tenders. Tomatoe sauce, most veggies, some fruits, and fish. It’s easier to list what I actually do eat.
shawn kubitzashawn kubitza from portland wrote on November 2, 2017 on 12:56 am:
i have this issue so bad and i hate it. i have a terrible time even trying to explain it to my wife. i feel like i hate food. my biggest problem is that i like different foods. like i love salsa but i cant eat any of the seperated ingredients. my other weird one is with potatoes. for me a hash brown and a tater tot are different they smell different and taste different. ill eat both but i cant have tater tots with breakfast or hashbrowns with dinner. i hate being told im just stubborn. if i could snap my fingers and just eat better i would i just cant seem to get a handle on it.