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Chubby Emo Chris Hardwick of 2003 Says, “You Can Do It!”

Ah, 2003! How I don’t miss you. I had JUST quit drinking, dyed my hair to establish a departure from my previous identity and was hard at work losing the “20 beers a day and 4am pizza rolls” weight, which amounted to 40lbs that I am thankfully no longer forced to transport around this planet. Fortunately, I cleverly preserved this rock-bottom-proximity snapshot on VH1’s popular I Love the 80s program, on which they reminded people about things that existed in the past. I did several of these shows for no money, so you know things were going well. What you can’t see out of the frame is the globby bag of mayonnaise that was my gut hanging over large, baggy jeans. GOOD. TIMES.

I am grateful for this picture! It reminds how far I’ve come and how you can turn your life around for the better. Honestly. I was at a total dead-end with little hope of resurrecting a decent life. I humbly place my lowpoint at your feet and tell you that if you’re thinking about making improvements in your life, TODAY IS THE DAY TO START. Quitting drinking, starting exercising, eating better, pursuing your passion, hugging more puppies–whatever it is. Don’t think about it. Just do it. Over-thinking the “hows” and “why comes” will put you in a neverending loop of inactivity. You have the power and ability to change the future with a simple “pro-you” decision.

Today is the day you stop beating yourself up and start making those incremental changes that will drastically affect the outcome of your life in wonderful ways you can’t yet imagine!

Happy Sunday! I <3 U!

top pic via @Ness90


  1. Matt says:

    Spontaneous gut reaction on this post: I love you, man. Thanks.

  2. Cheri says:

    Thank you for sharing this, I am passing this on to a few friends who could use this same pep talk! Awesome! ::high fives::

  3. Alex (Friend to all dogs) says:

    Great post. I remember hearing about your heavier self on the podcast. Congratulations on keeping it off and thanks for the motivation!

  4. Michelle says:

    Today is the day you stop beating yourself up and start making those incremental changes that will drastically affect the outcome of your life in wonderful ways you can’t yet imagine!

    That’s the crux of it all, right there. It’s easy to tell myself I have to change or else I’m just a loser, but that’s soooooo de-motivating. Annoyingly chirpy as it may sound, we really DO have to start loving ourselves enough to change.

    Thanks buddy! You rawk!

  5. Sam says:

    Starting tomorrow!

  6. Matt B. says:

    Chris, this is the wonderful part of impact on my and many people’s lives. Around Christmas last year I got winded and tired playing Dance Central. I was about 330 lbs and very down. I just decided I had had enough and started working out 4 days a week and being semi-aware of what I ate and drank. Coming up on four months I have lost 33 lbs and just am a more positive person. You, Jonah and Matt have helped me through this with laughter and posivity. Thanks for the podcast.
    P.S. Just tried Snooze for the first time the Pineapple Upsidedown Pancakes were FUCKING AMAZING.

  7. Luke Ski says:

    I started a new diet & exercise regimen 2 weeks ago. Went to the gym with my MP3 player so I could listen to the Nerdist Podcast while walking the treadmill, and the guest in the next unheard episode in my player was Tim Ferriss. What a coincidence that it was that episode I happened to be listening to while trying to start developing new eating and activity habits to become healthier and lose weight. So thanks to you and Tim and Jonah and Matt for the advice and inspiration. :)

  8. Muze226 (Nikki) says:

    Thanks for sharing this! It’s more than awesome that you overcame such obstacles! I’m at that point now & I finally got tired of getting stuck on my own “whys” & “why nots” & am starting to pick myself up & dust myself off, it’s a great feeling!! GOGO Gadget Nerdist! Gratz!

  9. spinmove says:

    Totally needed this today. Productivity starts NOW!

  10. Nothing chaotic about that Good, Hardwick.

  11. Yumenoko says:

    Two words for the 2011 version: HOT NERD!!!!!!!

  12. Justin says:

    I was just going to try the Adipose approach, but this seems much better. Either way you’re an awesome guy, but it sounds like you’re much happier this way, Congrats

  13. mPony says:

    Chris, as much as I have to applaud you for improving yourself physically, I am compelled to point out this fact: Your “low point” involved being on a TV show seen by millions. As much as I would love to, I am, as of yet, entirely unable to relate; Mea Culpa.

    I do wish you years of continued success, though.

  14. Robin Burks says:

    Just don’t become one of those motivational speakers . Seriously, dude, though, well done.

  15. Caitlin says:

    This post brought the biggest smile to my face and I can’t agree more! The most positive influence on my life, so far has been my 2 year old black lab guide dog – Teka (who you met in Boston)!

    She has opened up a whole new world for me. Something that I hadn’t considered or could have imagined. Before I got her, I traveled on my own, but I was really nervous about doing things like crossing streets and walking down stairs. I have some vision, though. Stairs look like slopes to me and I obviously can’t see far enough to know when a car is far enough away from me to cross a street, so I focus on listening to traffic patterns (hybrid cars make this difficult though).

    Since 2008, I’ve had multiple eye surgeries to try and preserve and help what vision I have left and my most recent surgery was on April 11, 2011.

    I’m a firm believer that if you put your mind to it you can overcome any obstacle. I’ve done it once, I can do it again and I’ll continue to do it despite all odds.

    …I’m starting to babble. Anyway! Keep rockin’!

  16. Daisy K says:

    I’ve got my own 40lbs to loose. Thanks for the peptalk.

  17. Junior Pennell says:

    Sweet Jesus! Damn, sir, you did well. I’ve always liked you Hardwick, but now you’re a true inspiration, sir. I’m gonna go do that!

  18. tina says:

    Well that made my day, that is all πŸ˜€

  19. Staci says:

    I needed this today.
    Thank you, Chris! You’re effing awesome :)

  20. The Bradical says:

    Thanks Chris,
    It’s funny how things like this are in your head and you do have the “I’ll start toda… tomorrow!” And you see something like this. It’s like running into someone you haven’t seen in years and then bumping into them everywhere! As I’ve mentioned before, you were a big influence in getting off my ass and creating, why not carry it over to health!?

  21. Jon says:

    Saw Terminator 3 on TV yesterday. I says to myself, “Is that that engineer from Singled Out? No, not the first one, the second engineer.” And it was.

  22. Clivo DiMars says:

    Chris I know that there are probably a lot of people including myself who needed that today. I was just stuck in a “how am I going to get through this” moment and that really raised my spirits. Thanks for the +10 to motivation.

  23. becca says:

    Love it!

    Now there’s photographic evidence that you’re Benjamin Button-ing.

  24. Amy S. says:

    Thanks for the inspiration, Chris! It’s something I really needed. I will pass it on to my sister, too. We’ve been talking about the idea of progress (not perfection) and, as you said, making incremental changes. On top of it all, she is also a big fan of yours, so I know she’ll appreciate this!

  25. Bh says:

    You are so crazy lean now! Super cutie.

  26. paul says:

    Thanks for this post, Chris! I hope this comment thread gives you some idea of how many people out here on the internet draw inspiration from you and from the Nerdist podcast. Now I must be off – those puppies aren’t going to hug themselves, you know!

  27. Patti says:

    Aaron, you know who had a cocaine problem? David Crosby. Is he thin now? No. πŸ˜›

  28. Wasselin says:

    even your speech bubbles have improved!

  29. Carol says:


  30. JUDE says:

    Chris, I have been drinking for 12 years. I decided to quit. Hearing maron’s story and your story and craig ferguson’s help me realize that one can fucking change. I had resigned myself to whatever fate alcohol was gonna bring me. Fuck that I dont wanna ruin my kids- they are still young. thanks for being so open. I love the Podcast it is truly inspiring.
    Is there any advice you have?

  31. Aaron says:

    It would have been much more efficient to adopt a cocaine problem like a normal adult.

  32. natalie says:

    can I be your nerd groupie 2011 Chris? haha

  33. Charlie says:

    You looked like Josh Peck in 2003. But good for you sir! You’ve certainly played a big part in convincing me to start stand up and I wish you much success in the future.

  34. Tonyfro says:

    Rock on, brother. I ordered four hour body on Friday, and I am pumped to work it. Friday is my low point, the future starts now! Playing basketball today for the first time since, uh, well, I can’t remember. Keep up all of the work you do, it’s awesome.

  35. Elaine says:

    What a wonderful, positive post! Thank you for sharing that. Hope I get to meet you when you are in Minneapolis May 6th. PS, <3 U 2!

  36. Laney says:

    Good for you Chris!!!! What a great message and one I know I’ll take to heart.

  37. Patti says:

    I love you for posting the pictures and for the inspirational message. You look fabulous, btw. I am struggling with weight myself. I guess thinking about losing weight isn’t going to make it happen, so I’m just gonna take your advice and do it! I’ve suffered some losses, the biggest being my 28 year old son. Everyone wanted to feed me. When someone passes on, people send food. Doesn’t really excuse the overeating. I wanna get more exercise and try to eat healthier. I will remember your advice and perhaps get back on track. Thanks so much for sharing, Chris.

  38. Awwww that was very uplifting for a Sunday morning!

  39. <3
    Thanks for the inspiration, Chris!
    You look great πŸ˜€

  40. Mitch says:

    This would go well with an MP3 of Sniper’s “Go For It”, which I get geeked up to every morning (seriously).

  41. Don says:

    YES! Yes, I’m going to do it!
    Oh look, Oreos and a NCIS marathon on USA network…
    (Actually, I’m in the middle of my life change after a beak-up, a move and realizing thru listening to podcasts, like Nerdist and WTF I’m not as weird as I always thought and, if I work at it and can do the things I know I’ve always wanted to.

    Thanks, Chris.)

  42. Betsy says:

    I watched all of the “I love the 80s” and I had no idea that was you! Well done, sir for taking charge of your life like that!
    I recently started walking and working out again. I know I’m my own worst enemy in this (damn you laziness and procrastination!), but I also know that being self-aware without action or change is just emotional masturbation. You made the change and I salute you, and hope to emulate you!

  43. Kyle Anderson says:

    That’s awesome. You’re truly an inspiration for a lot of us. And I’m not just saying that because you’re my boss. Thanks, Chris.

  44. Sierra Houk says:

    You’re awesome, Chris! Thanks for the inspiration :)
    you deserve every bit of success you have, and I hope even more good things come your way

  45. Holy crap man that is an amazing transformation, way to keep it up too. I’m down 50 lbs so far, a you just gave the motivation to get the last 30 off my fat ass

  46. Ant says:

    Also, you actually look younger in Twenty-11 then in Oh-3. Good on yeah, brahski

  47. Ant says:

    After hearing you talk about “Pudgewick” all the time, its a lot different to actually see what you were talking about all the time. Glad I decided to drop these not-in-love handles of mine this year.

  48. Brent says:

    cool man, its hard to get it all started

  49. spaz33g says:

    wow congrats chris. i forgot that at one point you were one of us large folks.

  50. Joseph Lyons says:

    Consequently this is exactly what I needed to read today.