It’s no secret the international rapping superstar Eminem battled addiction to drugs and alcohol; the persona in his music may not have been the persona we needed to believe it was- so we could forget about the validity of his plight to mend our own within the depths of his music. Or maybe we knew all along, and just didn’t care. Either way, Eminem has come full circle and gave Men’s Journal a glimpse into how he was able to triumph over addiction and become sober by utilizing his addictive personality into a beneficial, healthy way.
As revealed to Men’s Journal, Eminem’s addiction to Vicodin and Valium caused him to eat constantly, to prevent the hole in his stomach from becoming aggressive once the drugs set in. Eminem admits Vicodin is known to rip a hole into the stomach after prolonged abuse of the opiate based drug. At the height of his addiction, Em weighed 230 pounds on his modest 5’ 8” frame.
Once Eminem kicked the habit, he was determined to reclaim control over his life, starting with his weight gain- to perform at his best. Em began running. Like an addict. Men’s Journal quotes Eminem,
“I [needed] to figure out a way to function sober. . .It’s easy to understand how people replace addiction with exercise. . . I became a fucking hamster. Seventeen miles a day on a treadmill.”
Seventeen miles daily is a bit excessive, and Eminem’s body didn’t take long to tell him so. After suffering some hip wear and tear he began experimenting with workout DVDs which helped him satisfy his need to exercise without killing himself.
But what’s the science behind recovery and manic workout routines?
For starters, when we workout our bodies release organic endorphins which make us feel good, almost giving us a natural high. In terms of overcoming drug or alcohol addictions, the release of these endorphins make up for some of the permanent damage done to the neurotransmitters in the brain- as working out helps the production of serotonin, dopamine, and other essential chemicals responsible for making us feel fulfilled, happy, and whole.
That’s why those suffering from mood disorders, or depression, always benefit from a good workout routine. In fact, before you run to the doctor for antidepressants, making sure you have a structured workout regimen and healthy diet may make a world of difference, and completely eliminate the need for potentially dangerous medications.
If Eminem did it, so can you. Although he suffered from an overdose back in 2007, his life and future are now bright, and he inspires millions around the globe. You can too.