Eminem‘s Recovery marked what many saw as a return to form for the Detroit rapper. The album sprung from his real-life recovery from prescription pill abuse. This addiction led to an eventual overdose and weight gain. Em previously revealed to Rolling Stone how he’d frequent breakfast diners by himself, which he characterized as “sad.” One day, he overheard some kids guessing that he might be Eminem, but one of them said, “No it’s not, man – Eminem ain’t fat.” Eminem thought, “‘Motherf***er.’ That’s when I knew I was getting heavy.”
Now speaking with Men’s Journal, Shady says he was 230 pounds when he entered the hospital for his overdose. He’s pretty sure he ate so much because Vicodin and Valium created a hole in his stomach, and he ate (“constantly” and “badly”) to stop the pain. After leaving a recovery center, his personality replaced one addiction with another:
When I got out of rehab, I needed to lose weight, but I also needed to figure out a way to function sober. Unless I was blitzed out of my mind, I had trouble sleeping. So I started running. It gave me a natural endorphin high, but it also helped me sleep, so it was perfect. 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 f***ing 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.
Eminem did what many beginning runners do. He threw himself into the sport without a gradual buildup and overdid the mileage. After a grueling few years, Em’s hip flexors tightened up, which set off a chain reaction through his bod. Now, he does most of his workouts at home and considers himself a big fan of the PX-90 DVD program. Who would have ever thought we’d hear Eminem endorsing a television workout?