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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


  • You’re a big inspiration Chris, you supply so much positivity and laughter. I’m finally dealing with my own drinking problem and look at you as a rolemodel. Thank you.

  • Problem! “Chubby Emo Chris Hardwick” is one of the cutest guys I’ve ever seen in my life. If only the rest of us could look that good at rock bottom. =X

  • Wow Chris! Amazing. I’ve heard you say on the podcasts over and over about how you changed but I still had the picture of you from Singled Out in my mind. Seeing that picture is a great reminder of how far you’ve come. Keep it up…oh and keep up the funny.

  • I completely less-than-three Chris Hardwick at any size and shape! But bless you for showing that healthier = happier = productive-er = successful-er.

    *giant hugs and deep, soulful eye contact*

  • Thank you Chris. I’m at a pretty low point in my life after a divorce from the love of my life and then a couple years later a break up with my current girlfriend. While I have a job at with a good company, it is not something I am passionate about. I have been ready to make changes in my life but this provides me with a picture of someone who has gone through rough times but has come out of it a much better person. I needed it today of all days, Thank you.

  • I’m going to bookmark this post, order pizza, and read this again when I’m ready. I wish something a simple as others successes were enough for me to turn that corner.

  • I did kinda similar thing 10 years ago already. I was 130 kg, fat lazy geek..

    Looked at myself in the mirror after one summer and said to myself “f**** this s***”. Started training krav maga and did other exercises, started eating properly and dropped of crisps and junk food from my food. I still cant eat at mcdonalds or any other fast food restaurant anymore since I quit that.

    True, I’m not succesfull or happy. But atleast I can look decent while doing it. :P

  • Well done, well said & congrats on all your effort. You deeming yourself worthy will now give others permission to do the same. You are a bright light, that many will follow. Simply continue doing what you are doing & be proud… I am of YOU! :-)

  • Chris, it just so happens that as I write this comment, I’ve hit my own rock bottom and have been overthinking those things in the week since I’ve managed to extract myself from a horrendous living situation. This is exactly what I needed to read today. I only hope my own journey can bear the fruits of success that I need to get on track, and that someday I can thank you in person for your advice.

  • Hi Chris – I don’t know about the others – but i was wondering if there was a catalyst behind your transformation – it sometimes seems easy in a world of self-help, spiritual guidance or ego assuaging in a big city like Los Angeles – but i’m stuck in the army with, let’s just say, people who would rather kick your ass than allow you a modicum of spiritual or personal freedom – and bash any positive change you may be making at the same time – I’m not trying to negate your accomplishments – i applaud them – but was just wondering where you’d recommend some of the stuck guys start — thanks

  • I accept your challenge sir! I’ve just officially moved home from my final semester of university and I need to change my life. I need to get in shape! I need to get a real job! I need to learn how cohabitate with my mother again!! I CAN DO THIS!!! (well maybe except for that last one) PS: Your hair style now is much better when compared to 2003.

  • Hey Chris, I just put on Little Brother’s “The Minstrel Show” for the 10,000th time and it was the first time I ever noticed it was you being the announcer. Awesome!!

  • As someone who remembers watching you on a certain dating game show and now watches Web Soup, your AOTS segments, listens to every episode of the Nerdist Podcast and goes to almost every stand-up show you do in NYC, I can say, I am proud of you! You worked your way through tough times, started the Nerdist empire, and are trying to help get all of us on the right track. You are truly one of the good ones, sir. Keep it up and we will keep up the support!

  • I love your readers/followers. They are so open about their own situations; what an inspiring lot! I’m betting on all of them to achieve great things in their lives. So proud of you, Son!

  • Yes- all nerds please quit drinking immediately. Pay no attention to 6000 years of fermentation science, and the fateful potions concocted by the alcohol farmers of this world. Echezeaux and Pils are things of the DEVIL! Stone the brewers & winemakers with semi-dried clods of their own poo!

  • How does the 2011 chris hardwick look 5 years younger/better than the 2003 hardwick? IT’S MAGIC I TELL YOU! MAGIC!

    That being said, that’s pretty awesome, i intend to try the slow-carb thing in the summer (ive got enough weird stress in my life as-is during school) and this is a nice before/after to help me lose that 20-ish lbs, exercise, and help prevent the eventual added weight-gain/heart attack/diabetes im headed towards with my current diet.

  • All Nerdists –
    I am so proud of the community that this website has attracted/created, and feel blessed that I am a part of it. It is amazing how one persons’ candid willingness to share his tribulations and overcoming them has inspired so many.
    @Matt – you wrote about halfway up the page about being in the Army and how that feels personally stifling. I 100% relate, being a Soldier stuck in Iraq myself. There is a prevalent mentality/atmosphere of wanting to change yourself being associated with weakness. Just remember that you are doing it for yourself, screw them, and even if no one physically near you is supportive you have this fantastic online nerdist family. Good luck and stay safe!
    “Fear is the lock / Your heart is the key / Success is the door and admission is free!”

  • So happy to hear of stories like yours…makes me see a ray of hope for myself. A year ago I was at my lowest point, not exactly 20 beers a day but almost, not to speak about junk food and bad habits. This month the 26th it’s been a year since I said enough and quit everything: drinking, eating junk food and not caring for myself. Seems that I got it: I lost almost 50 pounds and starting looking like myself again. Unfortunately, the economic crisis didn’t help me and I’m still struggling with unemployment and lack of money, but not with myself anymore.
    By the way, Chris, I want to thank you for a tweet you sent me when I was only 6 months of abstinence, that cheered me up at that moment, it inspired and motivated me.
    Love your site. You and your mates are awesome!

  • Wow. That’s amazing Chris, thanks for getting your shit together to become one of my favorite podcasters. I need some of that motivation mojo you have going sir.

  • Fitter… Happier… More productive… Comfortable
    Not drinking too much!
    Regular exercise at the gym three days a week!
    Gettin’ on better… with your associate employee contemporaries!

    (New York Yankees 27, Baltimore Orioles, 61)

  • Thanks for sharing, Chris. I’ve been on a self-improvement kick in 2011 and I credit your podcast for keeping me going. I joined an improv group and I’ve lost almost 20 pounds, including trying many of Tim Ferriss’s tips. I feel like I’m losing weight and venturing into comedy with Matt. Thanks again and keep up the good work.