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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

Images: VH-1, Chris Hardwick

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  1. Andrea says:

    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!”

  2. Cardylover says:

    This is why I love this site (and your podcasts)! It’s so refreshing to hear positive messages and honesty 🙂

  3. Derek says:

    Refusing to believe that that’s really you on the left.

  4. RadNerd says:

    The 2003 you will now enter my dreams tonight …to rape me. Thanks for the nightmares Chris! You dick.

  5. Ryan says:

    Chris, love you so much and love the podcast and that your career is going so great, but I don’t need to quit drinking for my life to get better

  6. Graham says:

    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.

  7. 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!

  8. Dave says:

    Totally relatable. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Mom says:

    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!

  10. David says:

    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!

  11. Matt V says:

    Well, that podcast with Tim Ferriss got me to try the slow carb diet starting tomorrow.

    Thanks for the final push to do something.

  12. Bill M says:

    Hands up if you blurted out a “holy SHIT” when you scrolled past those two pics at the end. So crazy that is the same person. Good job Chris.

  13. Evan says:

    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!!

  14. Art says:

    “…Unless your a girl…”

    How has NOBODY quoted the Hard n Phirm hit yet?

  15. TSAvenger says:

    You look phenomenal. Your story is phenomenal. YOU are phenomenal.

  16. Michelle says:

    Oh, also? Thank you SO MUCH for knowing when to use affect rather than effect. YAY!

  17. Nikki says:

    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.

  18. Belle says:

    Brilliant, and well said, like usual. Wowsa, the energy is so different in each of those photos! Props to you for trusting the little steps.

  19. Keith says:

    PS F*CK!!!! I cna raelly spel…mak tha “coming” in me preeveeus emale

  20. Keith says:

    Fanfuckintastic and truly amazing! Congrats on the transformation!
    So, when are ya comming to San Diego to do your stand-up thing?

  21. Matt says:

    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

  22. Robert says:

    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.

  23. Himasf says:

    I just love you, Mr. Hardwick!

  24. Art says:

    Thanks Chris! I just started a diet, and after only 4 days, was actually about to say “SCREW IT!!!”.

    Wise words, as usual

  25. James McGill says:

    Damn man. Jon Schwartz was right. Its like you went from Tom Baker to Peter Davison. Good Going man.

  26. Jesus says:

    Wow just wow! What more can one say.

  27. smartbunny says:

    Aw, I thought you were soooooo cute! And now you’re a mega-handsome dreamboat. My Hardwick Hard-On has never softened.

  28. tommy d says:

    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! 🙂

  29. Lisa G says:

    BTW, I totally just set the 2003->2011 photo as my desktop background, for inspiration.

  30. Great post, Chris. Coincidentally, I had decided this morning, before I saw your post, that I was going to avoid flour and sugar Sunday through Friday. I need to lose about 50 pounds, and you and the guys have been good role models.

  31. Jack Bogdan says:

    I love reading these stories. Things like this motivated me to make a change back in September, so I’ll throw my 55lb+ weight loss into the ring.

  32. Tbirch says:

    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. 😛

  33. Carl says:

    Oh the wonders of Cocaine

  34. Matt says:

    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.

  35. Shawn says:

    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.

  36. Lisa G says:

    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*

  37. Lincoln says:

    Chris, my girlfriend Rachel says, “wow. that’s INSANE. good for him! he’s super sexy now!”


  38. Briznye says:

    You rock.

  39. 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.

  40. Liz! says:

    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

  41. Ryan Chavez says:

    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.

  42. Joe says:

    I once lost weight, let’s conquer the moon!!!!

  43. Josh from Europe says:

    OMG. You really did some transformation for good

  44. Kevin says:

    Inspiring. I need to re-read this to myself everyday.

  45. Alison says:

    “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  – Anne Frank”
    Chris, you and I got sober right about the same time. (Sadly I GAINED 40 lbs after doing so, but I’ve lost it over the past couple of years.) Thank you for your continuing messages of hope and encouragement to get moving personally and creatively. There’s not enough of that stuff in the media-sphere these days.

  46. Jon Schwartz says:

    It’s like you’ve regenerated! Good on ya! I’m working on doing the same thing. You’ve been really helpful in teaching me to self motivate.

  47. Jill says:

    The “then” and “now” pictures really show such a difference! Very inspiring. Thanks.

  48. Danny Jepson says:

    Chris, thank you for the inspiration! I can’t tell you that enough! From the awesome standup shows to the equally awesome podcasts, putting your mind to something you are passionate about is advice that ANYONE can take from. Sure, it may sound cliched, but hey, it works 🙂 Proud to be a fan, proud of the person you’ve become…thanks for the inspiration and good times. Skinny jeans-IN, baggy jeans-OUT 🙂

  49. Matt says:

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