“I was close to 230 pounds,” the Detroit rapper says. “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.”
The road to recovery not only included sobriety, but also plenty of exercise. Along with helping him lose weight, Eminem’s workout routine replaced the high. He chose running to burn calories and to build cardio for performing.
“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.”
When the addiction to running started to wear on Em’s body, he turned to workout videos. He first tried Shaun T’s Insanity and then moved on to P90X and Body Beast.
“I know a lot of these DVD guys are wacky,” he says, “but I’m alone in my gym. I need someone on the TV yelling to motivate me. Besides, some of this shit is entertaining.”
Eminem says that now he has a daily routine with Body Beast. He says he is happy with his physical health and maintains a regiment out of fear of regression.
“I guess I’m pretty compulsive working out,” he says. “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.”
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