Christina Anstead has been in the spotlight ever since she first appeared on our screens in 2013. Her starring role on Flip or Flop showed fans the ins and outs of flipping houses, but it also drew a lot more attention to her life than Anstead anticipated. When she announced her split from her co-star, Tarek El Moussa, rumors started to spread about their shattered romance — and the paparazzi went directly to her house for the scoop.
There’s certainly something to be said about how Anstead has handled it all. “I don’t live in fear,” she revealed to The Orange County Register. “I focus on the fact that none of what the tabloids said defined me.” Indeed, Anstead has successfully made it through all the difficult days with a smile on her face, regardless of whatever rumors are out there. She’s just always focused on what’s most important; whatever life throws at her, “the goal is for the kids to feel happy and settled,” she explained to Entertainment Tonight.
Despite all the ups and downs, Anstead has always managed to come out on top. Here are some of the best and worst days of Christina Anstead’s life.
WORST: The 2008 market crash changed Christina Anstead's life
Before 2008, Christina Anstead — who’s undergone a stunning transformation — was a successful real estate agent. However, when the stock market subsequently crashed, many families were forced out of their homes, and, unfortunately, Anstead found herself a part of this group. She and her husband at the time, Tarek El Moussa, had to leave their $6,000 per month mortgage behind. They moved into a small, $700 per month apartment, and even found themselves with a roommate. Needless to say, it was a tough time and made for some of the worst days of Anstead’s life.
In order to make ends meet, Anstead and El Moussa decided to do what they knew a bit about: house flipping. They were already a part of the industry, after all. “The [potential] profit was huge,” her then husband told Business Insider. Fortunately, better days came even quicker than they thought; their once stressful situation turned into something so successful that they pitched themselves to HGTV. “They liked the fact that we were poor and were trying to make something of ourselves,” she told The Orange County Register, and things only went up from there.
BEST: The day Christina Anstead met Tarek El Moussa
Soon after graduating from college, Christina Anstead found romance while working in real estate. Agent Tarek El Moussa caught her eye, and it wasn’t long before the two began dating. From there, their relationship evolved rapidly. “The day Tarek and I officially started dating, which was October 9, 2006, we moved in together,” Anstead revealed to Good Housekeeping. Three years later, they tied the knot, and soon after had their first child, Taylor El Moussa, together.
Anstead and El Moussa quickly turned into professional partners too; from a booming real estate business to flipping and selling houses themselves, the two found out they worked well together. After all, “we met at a real estate office, so we started our relationship working together,” Anstead explained to HGTV.
This working relationship led to Anstead’s starring role in the television series Flip or Flop in 2013, and her success skyrocketed seemingly overnight. The show’s ratings doubled year after year, inspired multiple spin-off series, and made Anstead a millionaire (via Discovery). According to Celebrity Net Worth, Anstead is estimated to be worth $12 million. Pay days are some of the best days!
WORST: Christina Anstead's fertility struggle
A few years after giving birth to her daughter, Christina Anstead decided it was time to have another baby. However, when it came to expanding her family, it didn’t come easily. After a year without seeing any little pink lines, Anstead turned to in vitro fertilization. “I definitely felt very hormonal and isolated during my IVF attempts,” she revealed on her Instagram (via Pop Culture). On top of all that, her husband at the time, Tarek El Moussa, broke his back, and that only added to all the stress. “[His recovery] was two months of sheer torture,” she told People.
Luckily, Anstead was able to excitedly announce her second pregnancy in 2015. Even still, that wasn’t easy either, as she found herself on bedrest and “couldn’t lift anything over a gallon of milk,” she shared. With her toddler running around, it was rough. Yet, she was set on becoming a mom of two. “We did everything we could to make sure this one worked,” Anstead said, and, luckily, it did work out in the end.
BEST: When Christina Anstead had her baby boy
After doing everything she could to get pregnant, Christina Anstead’s second baby, Brayden El Moussa, was finally born in 2015. “I can say for sure that nothing compares to being a mom for the second time,” she said during an episode of Flip or Flop.
Though meeting your baby for the first time is always one of the best days in your life, when she first found herself at the hospital, her labor was difficult and long. Anstead pushed for hours, but her sweet little boy didn’t seem to be coming anytime soon. In the end, Anstead was forced to deliver during an emergency c-section. “The whole experience and recovery was really hard on me physically and emotionally,” she admitted on Instagram (via Today).
Brayden finally made his debut in the world the day before his dad Tarek El Moussa’s birthday (via PopSugar). There was a lot for her to celebrate that week, that’s for sure!
WORST: The day Christina Anstead decided to leave Tarek El Moussa
Unfortunately, Christina Anstead’s marriage to her Flip or Flop co-star ended in controversy. In 2016, outlets reported that there’d been a horrifying incident in their home that involved a gun. Unsure if she and Tarek El Moussa could make it work any longer, Anstead moved out for a few weeks to stay with their family’s nanny.
Not only was the decision to leave El Moussa stressful, but tabloids were making it even more difficult. Anstead admitted to The Orange County Register that reporters were literally knocking on her front door with questions. When asked about the violent encounter with El Moussa, Anstead publicly clarified that it was an “unfortunate misunderstanding,” and that they’d been settled on separating long before this occurred. “We weren’t able to properly communicate anymore,” she admitted to People. “It got to the point where we weren’t even driving to set together.”
Yet, in true Anstead fashion, she chose to make the best of this strenuous situation. In the end, “it’s invigorating to know I am starting over,” she said. “It’s fun to be able to create my own destiny right now.”
BEST: When Christina Anstead received news of her solo show
Following Christina Anstead’s divorce from Tarek El Moussa, Anstead wasn’t sure what would happen in her career (via Fox News). So during a call with the president of HGTV, Anstead expressed her excitement to helm her own solo show. In 2019, Christina on the Coast aired for the very first time. “It was the same crew I got to film with on Flip or Flop, so it was cool to get to follow this other journey,” she told Access. “Which was everything I was going through.”
Though Flip or Flop briefly touched on her personal life, Christina on the Coast showcased Anstead’s success after both her divorce and some of the darker days of her life; starring solo was a chance for her to start over and create her own image in the media. Compared to filming Flip or Flop with her ex-husband, Christina on the Coast is “so different, so fun,” she said in a behind-the-scenes video. “And I got to film with my best friends.”
WORST: When Christina Anstead was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases
As if Christina Anstead wasn’t experiencing enough stress after splitting from Tarek El Moussa, her whole body was aching. She hardly had any energy, and her belly began bothering her every day. “It literally felt like someone stabbing me,” she told The Orange County Register. It was then that she realized something was seriously wrong.
It turns out, Anstead had an autoimmune disease — two of them, actually. After speaking with a doctor, Anstead was diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, a hormonal imbalance causing her stomach problems. She was also told she had Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid disorder sapping all her energy.
Even though this news is enough to ruin anybody’s day, Anstead pressed on and turned it into a positive experience. She’s since started practicing yoga, and started watching what she eats in a day. She’s even used her platform to share her story with other people in the same predicament. “I know a lot of people [have them] too,” she told Us Weekly. “So it’s nice to be able to talk about those things and things that have worked for me,” and many fans have appreciated her honesty.
BEST: When Christina Anstead met Cara Clark
If Christina Anstead had never been diagnosed with her autoimmune diseases, she never would have met her now BFF, nutritionist Cara Clark. “I’ve been following @caraclarknutrition meal plans since 2013 and credit her to really showing me what eating healthy looks like,” Anstead wrote on Instagram (via House Beautiful).
Anstead and Clark met chatting online, and their conversations led to a close — and very fit — friendship fast. Clark helped Anstead adjust to a new diet to deal with her autoimmune diseases. In fact, the two even teamed up and released their very own cookbook called The Wellness Remodel in April 2020.
Not only is Anstead’s first book filled with yummy recipes, but it also contains exercise routines, and even stories about some of her own personal health struggles. “My hope is that letting people into my life can help improve the lives of other people struggling to feel their best,” she explained in a video with the publisher.
WORST: When Christina Anstead had to navigate working with her ex-husband
When Christina Anstead and Tarek El Moussa ended their romantic relationship, they had to figure out their professional one. The two had been flipping houses together for years, and their successful HGTV series Flip or Flop was still a hit. To that end, in 2018, the two decided to make it work and stayed on screen together. However, those weren’t the easiest days. “Since we have to see each other every day it’s beyond awkward,” Anstead admitted in a press release (via Country Living). Yet, again in true Anstead fashion, she decided to look for a silver lining. “I’m planning on staying friendly and keeping things light,” she added.
Though their marriage had ended, Flip or Flop began doing even better than before. Their ratings continued to increase, and over 19 million people tuned in to watch the newly divorced duo (via Discovery). “Lots of people get divorced,” Anstead later told The Orange County Register. “What stood out to me is the ones who got along, at least in public, versus the ones saying bad things. It never looks good. We both chose to take the high road.”
BEST: Christina Anstead's surprise wedding to Ant Anstead
After calling it quits with Tarek El Moussa, falling in love again wasn’t on Christina Anstead’s mind — until she met Ant Anstead. He’d been divorced once before as well, and the two just clicked. In 2018, they planned to tie the knot in a secret ceremony. It was so secret that even their guests had no idea a wedding was happening until they arrived. “Everyone thinks that they’re going to watch the boat parade in Newport Beach,” Christina told People. Needless to say, most were shocked, and fans even got to watch it all unfold on an episode of Christina on the Coast.
There was a personal reason Christina didn’t want to share the big news with everyone; her wedding to El Moussa had happened before the two became celebrities, so navigating a new love life in the spotlight seemed daunting. In fact, Christina’s engagement to Ant was a secret too. “We really wanted to have a quiet wedding at home without all the drama and paparazzi,” she admitted.
Luckily, the new couple pulled off the surprise without a hitch. “It was an amazing day,” Christina reminisced to Access.
WORST: The day Christina Anstead found out Tarek El Moussa had cancer
Flip or Flop changed Christina Anstead’s life in more ways than one. During one of the very first episodes in 2013, a fan letter rocked her world. “I noticed that at certain angles, at certain times, it just caught my eye that Tarek had a lump on his throat,” the woman told Today. “And I thought it was something that needed to be brought to his attention.” Crazy enough, El Moussa’s throat was something that had been bothering him for a while. As an avid smoker, he decided it would be best to seek help, and that’s when they both discovered he had stage two thyroid cancer.
Their daughter, Taylor El Moussa, had just been born, and Anstead was doing everything she could to support her husband; it was a hard time for both of them. “I was just feeling totally overwhelmed about losing him, him having to go through treatments, our daughter,” she confessed.
El Moussa ended up having both his thyroid and lymph nodes removed, and the following year, he was deemed cancer free.
BEST: When Christina Anstead had baby Hudson Anstead
When Christina Anstead gave birth to her second son, Brayden El Moussa, it wasn’t easy. She’d been through multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization and had to have an emergency C-section. “I really don’t feel comfortable trying to go down that route again,” Christina wrote on Instagram (via Today). So when she made the decision to bring a third baby into the world with her new husband, Ant Anstead, Christina was bound and determined for everything to go smoothly. She scheduled a C-section, and in 2019, adorable baby Hudson Anstead was born, marking another amazing day in her life. “Our hearts are SO full of love and joy!” she wrote on Instagram (via House Beautiful).
Before giving birth to Hudson, Christina didn’t even think she’d be able to have any more children; she’d been told by doctors that hormonal therapy would be necessary if she ever wanted to have another kid.
Now, while she’s happy to have had Hudson, fans won’t be seeing Christina with any other babies. “We’re done. We’re done. We’re definitely done! So done. We’re done,” she told Us Weekly.
WORST: The day Christina Anstead decided to leave Ant Anstead
In September 2020, Christina Anstead shocked fans with an Instagram post: she’d been married to Ant Anstead for less than two years when she shared that they were calling it quits. “I never thought I would have one divorce let alone two,” she later wrote in another emotional post.
Though she’s never publicly commented on exactly what went wrong, Christina’s now ex-husband has hinted that he wasn’t willing to split up. “I never gave up on us,” he wrote on his own Instagram account. “I pray Christina’s decision brings her happiness.”
Christina, on the other hand, seems to have lived and learned from her past experiences maneuvering her personal life around the paparazzi. Considering the fact that her first divorce became so public so fast, it only makes sense that she’s not into sharing any details with us. Yet, “instead of getting stuck in these ‘setbacks’ I choose to look at these challenges as opportunities to grow,” Christina wrote, and at this point, it’s obvious she really has done that over the course of her life in the spotlight.
BEST: The day Christina Anstead decided to create her own happiness
Although Christina Anstead has had her fair share of bad days — with millions of us all closely watching — she’s always managed to come out on top in the end. Yet, as Anstead moves into a new decade of her life, she’s still aware that the last one didn’t end so well. “But I also think there are soooo many lessons in all of this madness,” she shared on Instagram.
In addition to a season renewal of both Christina on the Coast and Flip or Flop hitting our television screens, Anstead has hinted that she has other projects in the pipeline — specifically having to do with “spiritual healing.” It’s something near and dear to her heart after all the things she’s been through.
Despite the ups and downs that Anstead has experienced over the years, there’s something to be said about her ability to pull through it all. “Despite a lot of the crap there have been some really magical times,” she even admitted on Instagram. After all, her best days are still ahead of her.
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