A whole new Tarek El Moussa. The Flip or Flop star is a “completely different man” than he used to be following his divorce from Christina Anstead and his battle to get healthy.
“I’ve absolutely changed a lot,” the 37-year-old told Us Weekly exclusively. “How I think, how I feel, my mindset, my thoughts on things. I’ve completely rebuilt myself and it’s a very, very good feeling.”
El Moussa and Anstead, 35, shocked fans in 2016 after news of their split broke. The HGTV costars, whose divorce was finalized in 2017, share daughter Taylor, 8, and son Brayden, 3.
“I had an opportunity in my life to experience some very, very traumatic stays. From cancer and divorce, where divorce was debilitating to me,” El Moussa explained to Us. “I know what real pain feels like, if that makes sense. Years ago before I knew what pain felt like, I look at it now and I’m [like], ‘This is child’s play, this is a walk in the park.’ However bad things can be today, I compare them to how they were and I know it’ll never be like that again.”
The TV personality faced a major health scare in 2013 after he was diagnosed with both thyroid cancer and testicular cancer. In March, he revealed he’s officially cancer free.
“My doctor, he told me no more tests and it’s totally clear and I’m cancer free,” El Moussa told Us. “So, that’s some pretty good news. … I feel really, really great.”
It wasn’t a smooth journey for the real estate agent, however. He told Us exclusively that he wasn’t don’t well a few months back.
“I think it was November, December, January, I was not doing well. I was really sluggish, and slow, and cloudy, and brain fog,” he explained. “I was feeling depressed, I was losing all my hair, so I finally went to my doctor. Somehow, my body wasn’t accepting my thyroid medication. What happened was, I became super-hyper thyroid.”
He added: “It’s amazing how medication can affect the mind and body, so I always tell people, if something doesn’t feel right, something’s not right. You need to go get it checked out.”
Now, the only thing missing from El Moussa’s life is a partner. (Anstead, who married husband Ant in 2018, is pregnant with a baby boy.)
“My life’s been going really well and everything’s great, I’m super happy. The only thing missing in my life is a best friend and that’s one thing I do miss about a relationship,” he told Us. “I’m thinking about it, I’m hopeful about it. I’m not jumping in to anything. I feel like there’s hope for me.”
Professionally, however, El Moussa still is keeping busy. In addition to filming season 8 of Flip or Flip with his ex, he is working on a new series about home decorating.
“It gives me an opportunity to show me and how I interact with people, and how I am in real life on a daily basis,” he told Us. “For me it’s really exciting to interact with people I don’t know and actually give my input, my feedback, my coaching, and put them in their place when they don’t listen because they have a lot of money on the line.”
El Moussa is also trying to keep in touch with and inspire his fans via Instagram. “I know what real pain feels like and I know what it feels like to be inspired,” he noted. “I love helping and inspiring people because I know the feeling that you have when you feel good versus the feeling you have when you feel bad.”