Tarek El Moussa calls divorce from Christina Anstead 'debilitating'

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 Ansteadand 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.

17 PHOTOS
'Flip or Flop' couple Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa together
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'Flip or Flop' couple Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa together
PASADENA, CA - APRIL 30: TV Personalities Tarek El Moussa (L) and Christina El Moussa (R) attend the press room for the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
PASADENA, CA - APRIL 30: TV Personalities Tarek El Moussa (L) and Christina El Moussa (R) attend the press room for the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
PASADENA, CA - APRIL 30: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa present the award for outstanding entertainment news program at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on April 30, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa attend Tarek and Christina, TV's Favorite House Flippers, Featured at TREND/Stone Source Event in New York on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa attend Tarek and Christina, TV's Favorite House Flippers, Featured at TREND/Stone Source Event in New York on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa attend Tarek and Christina, TV's Favorite House Flippers, Featured at TREND/Stone Source Event in New York on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 13: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, hosts of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, visited the HGTV Santa HQ at Lakewood Center. The reality stars visited with Santa, toured the new digital Santa headquarters and celebrated the holidays with fans on December 13, 2014 in Lakewood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lakewood Center)
LAKEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 13: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, hosts of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, visited the HGTV Santa HQ at Lakewood Center. The reality stars visited with Santa, toured the new digital Santa headquarters and celebrated the holidays with fans on December 13, 2014 in Lakewood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lakewood Center)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Jason Langford, Christina El Moussa & Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, and Jamie Diaz attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and ?Immense? product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina & Tarek El Moussa of HGTVâs âFlip or Flop,â new North American brand attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina & Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Kenya Moore of Bravo's 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and ?Immense? product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
TV hosts Tarek El Moussa , right, and his wife Christina El Moussa, second from right, talk during filming of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop' reality TV show as they discuss what to do with this recently purchase house in Whittier on July 19, 2013. The single story 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,112 sq. ft home was purchased for $275,000 cash in a short sale. They will put up to $40,000 into fixing it up and hope to sell for $350,00- $400,000. It came with a bonus room. It was discovered the bonus room had a bad foundation and was demolished. They also discovered mold between the walls. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 2, 2014: Husband and wife team Tarek,right, and Christina El Moussa help contractor Steve Cederquist pull down a terminate invested trellis in the backyard of a home during the filming of an episode of 'Flip or Flop' on July 2, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 13: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, hosts of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, visited the HGTV Santa HQ at Lakewood Center. The reality stars visited with Santa, toured the new digital Santa headquarters and celebrated the holidays with fans on December 13, 2014 in Lakewood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lakewood Center)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassador, attends the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
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“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.”

25 PHOTOS
Christina El Moussa and Ant Anstead together
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Christina El Moussa and Ant Anstead together
About Last Night. #magical Check it out in @people Photographer @chardphoto Videographer @ahumandreaming Flowers @penelopepotsfloraldesign Make Up @pinkdustcosmetics Hair @shanrbeauty Catering @24carrotscatering Ring @randallscottfinejewelry Band @nadiacturner Rentals @sigpartyrentals Favors @energymuse Dress @inesdisanto Dress Shop @thewhitedresscouture
Magic hour ✨🏝
Taken from inside our new pool! 👏🏼 @ant_anstead and I are getting so excited for pool parties this summer with the kids in this bad boy!! In the meantime @cashiethefrenchbulldog is happy sneaking outside for a mud bath 🌧 😂 🤦🏼‍♀️
When you’re married and start smiling the same 😂🥰
Hubby and Javiers - #yesplease. ♥️ yes we match and yes I’m still wearing the ⛸🤷🏼‍♀️🖤 #datenight
Happy Birthday to two of the best who aren’t with me today but are both living their best lives 😉 ... my dad and @akeith9999 . Dad I hope you are being spoiled in Maui by mom and some huge pancakes from the gazebo restaurant and Amy I hope your man is treating you like a 👸🏼 in SF. Love you both ♥️💙
♥️☀️
If you aren’t in the mood for a sentimental / mushy post I suggest you keep scrolling. 😏..... A year ago today @ant_anstead called me for the first time and we spoke for 29 mins two days later while he was at Sema he FaceTimed me (I was thinking who FaceTimes) anyways I answered and we spoke for 2.5 hours ... two days later we met for the first time and we’ve been inseparable ever since. #FATE @ant_anstead you have showed me what real unconditional love is. You take me for what I am, flawed and a bit crazy, and love all of me just the way I am. You have never once made me feel bad for anything in my past. You put me in my place when I need to be put there. Hold me when I’m having a bad day. I love this life with you. I love our blended family. I can’t wait to see where the next year takes us. I know it’s going to be magical. ♥️🔥🔥💫 To quote my fav artist “Wise men say only fools rush in .... but I can’t help falling in love with you” ♥️
Excited for another “working” road trip weekend with this guy @ant_anstead . OC -> SFO @rewealthexpo -> North Carolina @highpointmarket -> OC
The accents alright too 😉
Another location another adventure. Last 2 days at our home away from home in the 🇬🇧 @stokepark . Love doing this life with you! @ant_anstead ♥️
What an amazing six months it’s been with this lady!!! Where has the time flown! I’ve loved every second I spend with her! She totally gets me (which is rare) and we have done so so much in such a short time! @christinaelmoussa is a proper travel buddy! With an amazing sense of humour and gets my British sarcasm (also rare). Timing is weird! Very weird in a great way! A VERY great way! Looking forward to the next chapter #Act2 ❤️🔥🔥🇬🇧🇺🇸#HMF x x x
This cutie’s team plays tomorrow... And if you saw my story this weekend .. well .. you know he’s just a little excited 😜 #TeamEngland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿... who wants to see England take the win?! ⚽️
Walk on the wild side with me @ant_anstead 😈 #HMF 💜
Whirlwind!! Less than 24 hours in Vegas. @reelevatedevents seminar ... dinner at SW steak .. @absinthe_vegas show ... won some blackjack ... home for soccer by 9 am, Tay scored two goals! ♥️ #hmf @ant_anstead 😘 📷 @cazeb 💋
At the end of 2017 I was lucky enough to be introduced to this guy through a mutual friend. #Fate. ✨ He has already grounded me in so many ways and I’m so grateful for him. @ant_anstead is an amazing dad to his children and also great with mine, driven and talented, humble and kind, patient and a great listener, fun and hilarious, spiritual and to top it all off he’s hot AF. Happy 39th birthday gorgeous. ❤️🔥🔥🍾 #hmf #pic
Exploring @ant_anstead old stomping grounds in his race car. #yesplease 🇬🇧... suggestions on must see spots in London appreciated 💋
Luckiest 🍀♥️ @ant_anstead you are #magical ✨ #hmf
My sweet valentine ♥️. @ant_anstead ... here in spirit, as he’s away working hard to make some tv magic ✨ #HMF
SEE!!!!!! I DO own a shirt!!! And a jacket!!! 😎 Oh and a HUGE fat smile on my face too!! 🤗 @christinaelmoussa is responsible for one out of three.. 😍 #HMF ❤️❤️🔥🔥
Lovely weekend away with this guy .... 🍷🍾 @ant_anstead #hmf
That moment you decide to just stuff you faces and eat a load of really naughty food while watching the sunset! 🐷 On a school night too! I know! Rock n roll right! For no apparent reason! 😎☺️#HMF @christinaelmoussa
The past 10 months with you have been #magical ❤️ @ant_anstead
Luau with the kids at sunset and the sound of the waves crashing..... #magical ✨
Date night and a lot to celebrate. ♥️ @ant_anstead 🥂
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With reporting by Travis Cronin

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