The vicious loop of relapse and recovery is over for Eminem, thanks to exercise.
In a recent interview with Men's Journal, Em revealed that he had reached an upwards of 230 pounds due to his battle with drugs, but has since linked with boxing trainer Emanuel Steward, who's worked with world champion Wladimir Klitschko. The Detroit rapper said he's lost 80 pounds running treadmills like Rocky runs steps.
"In 2007, I overdosed on pills, and I went into the hospital," Em explained. "I was close to 230 pounds. 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."
Running, he said, helped him sober up because, "unless I was blitzed, I couldn't sleep, and running helped me sleep." Ironically enough, it was lack of sleep that got him addicted to pills in the first place. He reportedly took them after he developed insomnia working on 8 Mile.
Now, more than a decade later, and with many more films and albums under his belt including the boxing-based Southpaw, for which he executive produced the soundtrack, Em is back on track.
"I became a f**king hamster," he said. "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."
It was better than than a hole in the stomach, though.
"It's easy to understand how people get addicted to exercise," he said. "It's one addiction for another, but one that's good for you."
(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)