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AmeliaAmelia from Lousiville wrote on December 7, 2016 on 9:15 pm:
I am 25 years old, and have been a picky eater for my entire life. Finding this website, and learning about ARFID has given me some hope! I honestly thought I was the only one like me out there. (Especially since none of my family or friends had the same problem as I. I always felt very alone, and embarrassed.

The last time I ate "meat" I was 7 years old, and even then, it only consisted of McDonalds Chicken nuggets, and fish sticks. I have been a picky eater ever since. Some say due to the fact that my mom fed me baby food for too long, is why I am a picky eater. But as I became more picky about what I was willing to eat, I was forced to try things, like a bite of steak, and I would end up gagging, not being able to swallow, and crying. It became a very traumatic experience to try anything I wasn't already eating.

My diet mainly consists of bread, pasta with marinara, pizza with no cheese, lots of carbs, fries, chips, other junk food, milk, and some fruits. As I have gotten older, very few new things have been introduced to my diet, and they were things that were similar to what I was already eating.

I am no longer worried about what people think of me, although it is embarrassing, and I get a lot of questions about the no cheese on pizza thing. But that's just the way I like it, and it is terrifying to try something different. As an adult, I am now more worried about my health, and setting a good example for my future children. I don't want them to suffer like I have.

I could go on and on about my experiences, but I feel confident that most of you here understand how I feel, and the things I struggle with. I don't know what to do from here. Everyone always told me I would "grow out of it" but that doesn't seem to be the case. What kind of groups can I join, and get support from others like me? I will say it is very comforting knowing I am not the only one out there. :)
anonymousanonymous wrote on December 5, 2016 on 12:08 am:
I am 20 years old, and I have been a picky eater all my life. I eat fruit, plain pasta, pasta with cheese, and an assorted mix of junk food. I hate eating this way and always have. I feel gross and know that I do not have enough energy because of the way I eat. I found out about ARFID and this website about a year and a half ago just before moving to college as the result of a desperate google search, but this is my first time posting here. Because of my research on ARFID and reading through this website I found a way to introduce three new foods into my diet, but two of them were very similar to things I already eat, and one took a lot of convincing myself. I struggle to try new things and when I attempt to try new things I often find myself staring at what I want to try and never putting it in my mouth.
Like many of you, the way I eat causes me a lot of stress socially. I don't mind not eating, but I hate the way people react and point it out and talk about it. I want to travel and I really want to study abroad in France this summer. In the program I want to go with you have to stay with a host family and eat two meals a day with them. I do not want to miss out on this opportunity but I'm afraid of offending my host family and starving. I have thought that maybe once I'm there and all I have to eat is that food maybe I will start eating, but I also know that has never worked for me in the past. If anyone has any suggestions about how to work on this or any French cuisine to practice with it would be greatly appreciated. (Also any tips on looking like you're eating when you aren't.)
Admin Reply by: Bob
You should join one of our support groups to get your questions answered. I once put myself in a position that I thought would force me to eat. Well that was a nightmare as you might imagine. Just cause you have to try the new food it does not help in any way and gagging becomes a way of live.
EdnaEdna wrote on November 30, 2016 on 2:39 pm:
I am 19 years old, and I struggle immensely with eating. I've been an extremely picky eater my whole life (as far as I can remember)- I can list the foods I eat on my fingers. I don't know the last time I ate a full meal 3 times a day. I usually skip meals and snack during the day or eat 1 meal at a random time. Many times throughout my life, I don't eat because I'm often in places that I don't like any of the food-not a single thing (in school, camp, friends houses, weddings, fancy dinners etc..) I don't like any gourmet food, or anything that is not "a regular simple" food. I don't like any vegetables, I only like 3 fruits-apples, purple grapes, and clementine. I don't like a single spread or dip - when I eat a bagel or bread, I only eat it plain. I'm terrified of fish, and most meat, I don't like eggs either. I don't eat any foods that contain any ingredients in it that I don't like (besides for very few exceptions) I only like 2 kinds of soup, and I'll eat pasta if it's just cheese and sauce (and only if it's homemade from my house) otherwise I usually don't like it.) I like pizza, but I don't eat it often, and I like chicken nuggets and French fries- that's basically all I eat... And I love a big variety of snacks and candies and chocolates and ice cream. I won't eat anything that was touched by a vegetable, fish, or any sort of spread that I don't like-even if it was removed from the food, cuz it still has the taste of it on it. I am extremely stubborn and absolutely refuse to try or eat anything that I don't like. Bottom line, I barely eat, sometimes not even purposely, but just cuz there's no food available that I like. Everyone bothers me about this, but I'm not going to change. I'm not looking for a way to like new foods, I'm just trying to find out what is the best option for me to eat, from the few foods that I like. I'm also pretty skinny, and lately I've lost a lot more weight, everyone is getting nervous about me and says I'm so small and I look unhealthy. To be honest I'm nervous for myself too, because my (non)eating habits are getting worse, and I barely eat every day, or if I do eat, then it's something not healthy, and very little of it. I need some advice/support. And no, I am not willing to go to an eating disorder program, cuz any doctor or program will make me eat things that I don't like, and I absolutely refuse to-I'd rather starve than eat something that I don't like.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Looks like you have two problems. Being picky does not lead to loosing weight to the point it becomes dangerous. You need to address the weight issue and find a way to eat more of what you can eat.
Bob K
benben from Edmonton wrote on November 29, 2016 on 5:55 am:
Me and my girlfriend have been together for 3 years now . she is such a picky eater n im a cook love food and it drives me up the wall i dont know what to do about it. HELP PLEASE
Admin Reply by: Bob
Your girlfriend is not being spoiled or childish. She probably has our eating disorder that none of us have ever chose to have. If you love her you should probably learn more about our disorder. There is no quick fix and she will probably always have trouble eating a wide variety of foods.
Bob K
GeoffreyGeoffrey from France wrote on November 28, 2016 on 8:51 pm:
Hello !
I'm 22 and I've been a picky eater since I was 3. At least that's what I've been told, I don't know what made me change my eating habits at 3.
I eat mostly potato, pasta, meat, haricots and rice.
I can't eat any of this with any sauce or seasoning.
I have always been afraid of eating around people and I turn down as many events as possible where I may have to eat.
I thought I was the only one in the world for a long time because this is an unknown issue in France. I don't know why but someday last year I decided to do a bit of research in english and I ended up on some websites and found out I wasn't the only one.

I've done some research again today and I ended up on your website. In a way, I am glad that I'm not the only one (even if I wished nobody suffered from this) but I am looking for a way to "cure" this and I can't find anything. I didn't read every story posted on this guestbook but I've found nothing encouraging.

I've read that hypnosis could cure this but I don't think anyone know about this in France so I don't want to lose money for nothing. Last time I checked, I ended up on the website of someone who said he was specialized in hypnosis for adult picky eaters and that he could cure it in 1 or 2 sessions of 200$ each. I am skeptikal and I don't have that much money so I am looking for testimonies of people who have managed to change and to eat normally.

Has anyone been "cured" from picky eating ? Would you recommend trying hypnosis ?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Reports from others who have tried Hypnosis have been poor results with little if any progress. About the only thing it can help is putting you in a better frame of mind to try new things. But from their it does not help. I wish it was that simple.
Bob K
SOnyaSOnya from Dallas wrote on November 24, 2016 on 9:56 pm:
Wow! People like me! I never knew, being picked on my whole life I just assumed I was the only one. I'm 48 and of course get told I'm going to die soonish... I've had check ups and test run and they all come out alright. I've taken a multivitamin for years with a lot of antioxidants in it. I do not eat fruits or vegetables (except bananas and potatoes/corn on the cob) I also hate mixed up foods, new american dishes anything foreign. What bothers me the most is the bullying I get at work or in social situations. I workout 3-4 times a week, and am not overweight. I order off the kids menu most of the time too, or cut my meal in half and take it home (I get flack for that too). In my childhood I was raised by a vegetarian who beat me and forced food down my throat at dinner time. I think that is where most of my food issues come from, but now reading all your comments I'm not so sure. I too hate smells and textures. Anything green coming from the ground I just picture a cow chewing grass.... I just can't do it. Well up until this week. I''ve been reading Tony Robbins and I got inspired to just try things. So far I'm trying things that I am okay with the smell and textures. Nuts, dried fruits....its going well. Nothing making me gag but I'm not finding any of it just out of this world delish :) I'm going to keep trying. My mother in law just passed at 60 from starving herself (we only saw her eat cheese crackers, goldfish most days) Her organs finally just stopped working. So thats prompted me to at least try. I'm so glad to have found this site. I believe if you get tested, take your vitamins and do the best you can (protein intake) it will all be fine. But I'm trying for myself, I too would love to just eat at a freakin restaurant without all the attention.
Admin Reply by: Bob
You really do have lots of company and the disorder is called ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder in the medical books since May of 2013. You are doing fine.
Bob K
SamanthaSamantha wrote on November 24, 2016 on 12:21 pm:
I am 18 and I really struggle with food, I have gone to the doctors and they said that I am low in all my vitamins, I have known this for a long time, I am going to be on (at least) six pills a day for my vitamins and she said that if I do not start to eat better then I am most likely going to have a heart attack, or have diabetes within the next 15 years, I'm really struggling because I want to eat better but it juts seems so much more difficult, she has also told me that I'm addicted to sugar, the only things I really eat are pizza, pasta, sweets and chocolate, so its getting really difficult for me now.
EmmaEmma from Atlanta wrote on November 24, 2016 on 5:18 am:
I've been a picky eater for as long as I can remember and I've always gotten a lot of shit about it. I'll eat something that people aren't used to seeing me eat and then the comments come, "Emma are you really eating that?" "Do you even know what that's called?" "Who forced you to eat that" and after a while I get very uncomfortable with all these people watching me eat that I just stop. I don't remember that last time I ate all three meals at normal times. I wait until I get home from school before I actually eat something, and I skip breakfast because no breakfast foods are appealing to me and it's much to early to eat. I thought I was getting better too. This summer I tried a couple new things when I went on a trip to Europe, but it turns out that was my peak and it's only downhill from there. Foods that I used to love no longer have much or any appeal to me. This scares me, a lot. I'm only 17 years and at the rate I'm losing interest in food I won't like anything by the time I'm 25. Tomorrow's thanksgiving. My least favorite holiday because everyone has to butt into my business about what I'm eating. Wish me luck.
KayleighKayleigh from England UK wrote on November 20, 2016 on 7:49 am:
Hello, I am writing with concern for my 7 year old son. Living in the U.K. I don't seem to find much help from anyone. We have been to children's health visitors, dietitians etc but no one seems to be worried like I am. From the weening age he would eat what ever he was given and from about 2 years old things started to change. For the last 5 years he has a VERY limited diet consisting of biscuits for breakfast , a popadom which has to be soft (stale) crisps (potato chips ) but only a selected few varietys a packet of dried fruit flakes and dinner is mashed potato with BBQ sauce ! He will eat McDonald's French fries but they are the only ones. I am at my wits end trying to get him to try or even look at any other food he cries, gags and gets into a state if we even mention for him to try anything new.
He also easy chocolate M&Ms daily but wouldn't even try a new sweet.
I have always worried he was alone in this but have found this site and though I might do find some information or how to help him.
I don't want him becoming left out as a child because he is different.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Kayleigh

You are correct that this might be a life long problem. But at this stage the odds are he will grow out of it. Try to avoid making meal time a war zone at your home. It will only make things worse. Offer new foods often and see what happens. If he is like me there is almost nothing you can do to change him. Plus is he is like me he never wanted to be the way he is and would love to change. You are welcome to join our support groups to talk with others like yourself who have a child in danger. I hope you have a positive outcome.
Bob K
DamienDamien from Connecticut wrote on November 10, 2016 on 9:40 pm:
I'm so glad I found other people just like me. I honestly thought I was the only one that didn't like the taste, smell, or texture of food. I really thought I was abnormal. But turns out I have a whole "family" just like me. And idk about you, but I would consider you guys family even though I don't know any of you. Simply because we are all alike. In many more ways then just 1. I'm 18 not yet a full adult but this has been something I've had to deal with since I was just a toddler. I feel so awkward around people when I eat because I eat the same things over and over on a day to day basis. If anyone is reading this I would like to tell you that everything will be okay in the long run and don't change who you are for anyone. This is you and you should embrace it. Again I'm glad to have found this website and I'm so happy people are sharing their life stories because it makes me feel less like an outcast. Thank you guys, really, I appreciate it.
KristenKristen wrote on November 9, 2016 on 7:05 am:
I know this may seem dramatic, but finding this website and seeing that others struggle with this problem and I'm not just a freak, makes me want to cry. I'm a relatively young adult but this is something I've struggled with my whole life. My family always says I need to "grow up" about my eating habits but now I know this is a real thing and I'm not the only one. It's always been my biggest insecurity; my friends don't understand why I get so quiet when they'll look at my plate and say "you're having pizza AGAIN?" or something like that. I've avoided so many meals and social gatherings just because I was embarrassed by my eating habits. Thank you for this website. I feel less alone.
KurtKurt wrote on November 5, 2016 on 1:17 am:
Wow , I have felt like a freak my entire life because of my selective eating and now at 55 I find all these other people . that have the same issue . It is so wonderful to know I'm not alone anymore and thankfully I have a supportive wife and family .
Damien wDamien w from Southbury wrote on November 3, 2016 on 7:48 am:
I'm so happy to actually see people go through the same thing I do. On a daily basis I struggle with finding food to eat and most of the time I'm starving. I can have food on the house but j will sit there and starve to death if I don't have something I like. New foods make me anxious and honestly the texture, look, and smell of new foods just make me sick to my stomach as over all just make me feel so horrible. I would love to hear from people and maybe hear some advice people have on maybe trying something alittle less plain then what I eat. Because my diet mostly consists of bread/waffles, milk, pizza and cheese. I do like some different types of cheese it has to be sliced. Certain meat I can tolerate but if it even is the slightest bit odd to me I can't eat it. I struggle with weight gain as well, I am underweight and I only seem to lose weight because of not being able to find foods I can actually eat. I just really would love for some one else to just talk about this with. Thank you guys, for being just like me and helping me feel less alone through this
No NameNo Name wrote on November 1, 2016 on 10:41 pm:
My entire life I thought that my eating habits were due to me being a coward. I believed this until today when a supportive friend of mine looked into this for me and found this site. I don't remember the last time I've eaten a fruit or a vegetable in my life. Actually, that's incorrect. I remember when my picky eating problem was beginning to develop around the age of 6 and my mother was worried so she forced me to eat a carrot. Right after it entered my mouth, I ran my 6 year old self to the bathroom and practically threw it up. This prblem has grown to be a constant demon on my shoulder. Whenever I go out to eat I still have to order off of the kid's menu. Even then I still have to edit my order in order not to feel disgusted by it. Having new friends find out about how little food I've ever tried is just plain embarrassing. Along with day to day struggles, I'm scared for how this will affect me in the long-term. I'm still young, yet I constantly worry that my diet consisting of no fruits or vegetables will ruin my body on the outside and inside. I fear that I will die early, hurting my loved ones, yet I haven't made any progress on fixing this. My entire life I've been made fun of while out to dinner with new friends by ordering chicken nuggets, and I'm so happy to have come across this community. I never thought there would be a place like this, let alone the number of people suffering from the same thing. I hope that by acknowledging this and by finally reaching a breaking point I can break out of this oppressive, fear-filled shell. Thank you all for listening and for being such a pleasant community.
JuleneJulene from Australia wrote on October 28, 2016 on 10:12 pm:
Hi, I was so happy to find others like me. I have always been like this, I do remember my parents trying to force feed me vegetables at a young age and then they gave up and fed me what I liked. I dont eat fruit and the only vegetables I will eat is potatoes and broccoli if put in my mouth with potato and even then I fight not to gag. But I worry as to my health I am 53 now, hard to lose weight and be healthy in regards to fats and sugars, I worry I will die young because of my eating habits. It is so hard in regards to going out and eating at restaurants or friends houses, I will avoid it if possible but I do have good friends who know and will cater for me. I always thought it was just me but finding this site there are thousands. I feel that it is psychological but who knows. I have children and didn't want them to be like me and so when they were that fussy age I read them a story while spoon feeding them fruit and vegetables now they will eat anything and willing to try new things I am so pleased they do not have a fussy eating disorder like me. I even went to a psychologist regarding eating but I don't think they know how hard it is to put food near let alone in your mouth that you simply can't / won't eat. I have a problem with texture, taste, smell, look of food. I so wish their was a simple answer and I would be cured.
Admin Reply by: Bob
If you are worrying about dying young I'm 69 and feeling great.
Bob K
ItIsMyChoiceItIsMyChoice from Twin Cities wrote on October 25, 2016 on 1:57 am:
I have always been a picky eater. I get some grief from people but not too bad. I don't like many veggies, I have a very limited amount of things I like. I like things "plain". Tacos with just meat and cheese for example. Although people say I'm picky (and I probably agree for the most part), there are still a ton of things I will eat...... chicken, beef, turkey, potatoes, pasta, corn, peas, and oatmeal to name a few. I'm not big on adding things, I like to eat one type of food at a time, I prefer to make my own food and I hate buffets for the most part. One big problem for me is it is hard to find something I like that is "healthy" when I'm out and about or traveling. As I'm getting older now (mid 40's) I find it harder to control my weight and my diet probably doesn't help. I'm going to try to put myself on a picky eater diet and exercise plan. Best of luck to all of us picky eaters.
can't tell u namecan't tell u name wrote on October 20, 2016 on 3:44 am:
I'm not putting my name incase someone finds this but I'm not an adult but I'm 15 years old. I can't believe that I'm not alone. it's hard being a teenager having this. everywhere you go food is being served. I am a competive soccer player and pracyice 5times a week. I've almost passed out on the field several times because I have to work out with out eating. I eat no meat. 2fruits corn and that's it. I some junk food but I hate food. my parents want me to go to the doctor but I know what they will say "she will grow out of it" NO I WONT ITS BEEN 14 YEARS. it's so hard being a teenager having this someone help me I can't even go to social events anymore and it's making me depressed someone advice?!?!
Admin Reply by: Bob
You can have a great life. At least now what you have has a name ARFID. I spent almost 55 years before I ever met someone like me. Now I know there are 1000s of people with it all over the world. it's not your fault and it's not your parents fault either. There are some things you can do. Things like ensure and or energy drinks. You probably should get to a doctor and get some test to see if you are deficient in any vitamins or minerals. You should have something you can eat before you play sports so you can be your best. The hard part can be the social side of ARFID especially when you are young. As I always say you are probably gifted in other ways. Bob K
AmyAmy from Tulsa wrote on October 19, 2016 on 1:39 am:
Hi! I am excited to find this webpage. I am 51 and have always been pretty picky. I have a growth disorder and stopped growing around 11. I took shots and am a normal height now, but think maybe my adult taste buds never kicked in because everything else stopped at 11. The foods I like are typical "kid" foods. I live alone and don't enjoy cooking, so it makes it difficult to try new things. I do have a texture problem with certain foods and don't like casserole's and things I can't identify. Thanks for listening and putting this group together.
Daniela ZancanDaniela Zancan from Porto Alegre, Brazil wrote on October 16, 2016 on 12:09 am:
I'm so embarrased about my eating habits that only today, at 31 years old, I decided to look up if my picky eating is actually a disorder. I can't eat most vegetables and any fruit. As most people here texture and smell are the biggest issues. Here in Brazil doctors and psychologists don't recognize picky eating as a disorder. It's been really hard to lose weight, there's no diet plan without fruit and vegetables. Glad to know that studies are being carried about picky eating.
Admin Reply by: Bob
I know that we have some other people from Brazil in our support groups who have state the same thing. Glad you found our website.
KateKate from Manchester wrote on October 14, 2016 on 12:05 pm:
I am now 46 years old & can't remember a time I ate like a 'normal' person. I have always known my eating issues have been my problem so I avoid situations where my eating, or lack of it, could impact on others enjoyment. Normally I manage but holidays are really tricky. I love to travel, experience new cultures & see amazing sights but managing to get enough food inside me to function properly is so difficult. I have gone without food for days because I can't find anything I can tolerate putting near my mouth. I thought if I was hungry enough I would eat but I can't, bursting into tears at the thought of putting Street food in my mouth doesn't make great holiday memories. I dread locals inviting me to their homes, I'd love to go & share their culture but don't want to insult them by refusing to eat any food they offer. After 8 days in Nepal & no food passing my lips I found a stall selling almonds, I never knew a bag of nuts could make me so happy. I don't want attention or special treatment I want help & understanding. GP number 1, who was very overweight, laughed & said he had food issues too. CBT involved me crying in the supermarket because I had to purchase something I wouldn't normally be able to eat & take it to the session, even the thought of putting it near my mouth was enough to set me off. The sessions involved me gagging & crying while the practitioner got frustrated. When I was admitted to hospital for an unrelated issue they wouldn't discharge me until I started eating properly & couldn't understand why this wouldn't happen & told me I was just being silly. I don't want to live the rest of my life with these restrictions, I want to go for a meal & be able to order off the menu and enjoy the food I an given but I can't. Food is something I have to deal with every day reinforcing the difficulties I have. We need appreciate help from those who truly understand so our quality of life & physical health can be improved. My children, in their 20's, have inherited my food issues, without help how can we stop the cycle?