Eminem nearly died from a methadone overdose in December 2007. It was a defining moment that chartered the course he would take as he recorded his next two albums, 2009's Relapse and 2010's Recovery. In a new interview with Men's Journal, he detailed his recovery in the weeks and months after the overdose.

“In 2009, I overdosed on pills, and I went into the hospital,” he said. “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.”

In need of a means to function sober, Shady turned to a new addiction: running. “I became a fucking 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."

Eight years later, Em stays active, exercising to workout DVDs every morning before he hits the studio. "I guess I'm pretty compulsive working out," he said. "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."