In an interview for the September 2015 issue of Men’s Journal, Eminem reveals how fitness helped him during his battle with drug addiction. Detailing his weight loss strategies after an overdose, the storied rapper revealed his on-and-off relationship with fitness, which included boxing and a stint of working out with Dr. Dre. After his release from rehab, Em recalled how he slimmed back down from a whopping 230 pounds.
“In 2007, I overdosed on pills, and I went into the hospital. I was close to 230 pounds. I’m not sure how I got so big, but I have ideas,” he said. “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.”
Sharing that running became his substitute for drug addiction, Eminem recanted a nearly unhealthy obsession with the treadmill. Churning out a cool 17 miles a day, the rapper admitted that he started to become “OCD about the calories.” It wasn’t until running started to take a toll on his hip flexors that he resorted to other workouts. He got his weight down to 149 pounds.
“It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise,” Em said. “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.”
Eminem eventually found his fitness groove with at-home workout DVDs, running through Shaun T’s Insanity workout and Tony Horton’s popular P90X routine. The rapper also credits Sagi Kalev’s Body Beast workout as part of his new routine. Now isolating regions of his body with his fitness regimen, Em admits that he’s still “pretty compulsive.”
“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,” he said. “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.”
Read the full story on Eminem’s fitness recovery here.