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'Flip or Flop' star Tarek El Moussa: "The last three years were the hardest of my life"

By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/17/2017 

Flip or Flop star Tarek El Moussa is opening up about surviving his own personal hell -- several years of physical and emotional battles.

Tarek took to Instagram on Thursday with a throwback photo of himself in which he appears thin and pale.

"I thought I would share this with everyone to truly understand how absolutely sick I was. Look at this photo and look at my eyes, I was a skeleton. This took a major toll on my physical and mental health," Tarek, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013 and then testicular cancer a month later, captioned the image.

"I know many of my fans have had similar struggles and can relate. The last 3 years were the hardest of my life, I look back and still wonder how I survived. I never quit although I wanted to thousands of times all day every day. This is from hurting my back after battling 2 cancers. I had a 60 pound weight swing from my illnesses."

However, Tarek, 36, persevered, conquered and became a hit on HGTV with his now-estranged wife Christina El Moussa.

"I'm proud to say I didn't quit and I'm in the best shape of my life!! For everyone struggling right now from any situation, remember, keep your head up and don't quit! There is light at the end of the tunnel, stay strong! T."

Tarek and Christina separated in May 2016 but did not publicly announce their breakup until December of last year. In early January, Tarek filed for divorce after seven years of marriage.

"We used to be so energetic," Tarek recently told People when asked about his former romantic relationship with Christina.

"But with the businesses and the cameras and the cancers and the surgeries and my back, we started losing that energy. That's what led us to where we are."

Tarek is on the fast track to happiness, as he exercises regularly and got back to his self-declared "healthy" weight of 195 pounds.

His "meds are where they need to be" as well, according to the Flip or Flop star, whom doctors reportedly prescribed a combination of hormone medications to impact his mood and energy levels.

"When you're going through something like I did, you don't realize how bad it is until you get out of it," Tarek told the magazine.

"But now I'm happy, healthy and dedicated to what makes me the happiest: being the best father possible. Everything's perfect."

Tarek and Christina are the parents of daughter Taylor, 6, and son Brayden, almost 19 months. They remain friendly and continue to film Season 7 of Flip or Flop despite their split.

Tarek El Moussa/Instagram

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