Eminem has always been open about his drug abuse and how he was able to overcome it. One of the best things to come out of his 2009 overdose was that Em got focused on becoming healthy and staying in shape.
“I was close to 230 pounds,” Eminem tells Men’s Journal. “I’m not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas. The coating on the Vicodin and the Valium I’d been taking for years leaves a hole in your stomach, so to avoid a stomachache, I was constantly eating, and eating badly.”
After Em realized he had to get in shape, he chose to run for the cardio, which would burn calories and also help improve his performances. He describes this experience as having an “addict’s brain” and that even though he was successful in losing almost a 100 pounds, he got carried away with the amount he ran.
“I started running. It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect,” he says. “It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise. One addiction for another but one that’s good for them. I got an addict’s brain, and when it came to running, I think I got a little carried away. I became a fucking hamster. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill. I would get up in the morning, and before I went to the studio, I would run eight and a half miles in about an hour. Then I’d come home and run another eight and a half. I started getting OCD about the calories, making sure I burned 2,000 every day. In the end I got down to about 149 pounds. I ran to the point where I started to get injured. All the constant pounding from the running began to tear up my hip flexors.”
Athough he’s not quite as compulsive as he once was, Shady says he still stays on a strict routine.
“I guess I’m pretty compulsive working out. I feel like if I step away from it for too long, if I have a crazy week and take a five-day break, it’ll be like starting over. I’m afraid that if it goes beyond that, I might lose the motivation. Once you’re at a place where you’ve made progress and you’ve got some time invested in it, you don’t wanna quit and give up what you started.”