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The tragic story behind Al Roker's past health battle

He wasn't taking care of himself

al roker outside mask down
Hannah Hargrave
Hannah HargraveUS Deputy Editor
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Al Roker has come out fighting following a battle with prostate cancer, but long before he was diagnosed with the disease he was battling another health crisis. 

The much-loved Today show weatherman once weighed 340lbs and his unhealthy lifestyle threatened to take over. 

SEE: Al Roker shares inspiring new video and urges fans to get checked amid cancer battle

He famously underwent gastric surgery and shed an incredible 100lbs and while he has been open about his weight loss, one of the main reasons behind it is heartbreaking. 

WATCH: Al Roker shares update after cancer diagnosis

Not only did he want to overhaul his health for his wife, Deborah Roberts, but for his beloved father, who has since passed away. 

Looking back on his weight gain he said in 2013 that it was a combination of "not feeling worthy," and that he "really liked food".

Al kept promising those around him that he would start looking after himself but it wasn't until his dad, Albert Lincoln Roker, Sr., was on his deathbed that he truly took stock of the situation. 

MORE: Al Roker breaks hearts with tribute to his late parents 

READ: Al Roker's wife Deborah Roberts fights back tears in bittersweet family picture

al roker wife photo

Al with his wife Deborah before he lost weight 

"I don't know if you've ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love," Al wrote in his memoir, Never Goin' Back: Winning The Weight Loss Battle for Good. "But if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment."

Just a few weeks after his father died, Al discovered Deborah was pregnant with their son, Nicky. His dad never got to meet his grandson.

While Al stuck to the weight loss promise he made, when his mother was then hospitalised in 2011, he turned to food for comfort and fell back into bad habits - he gained 40lbs.

MORE: Al Roker shares date night photo and fans are obsessed with this detail

READ: Al Roker's wife Deborah shares sad post following celebrity death

al roker parents

Al recently paid tribute to his late parents 

"I was out of my routine, commuting [to Long Island] to see her, and feeling guilty, either that I wasn’t spending enough time with the kids and Deborah, or that I wasn’t being there enough with my mom," Al told Parade.

"I consoled myself with food. I got blindsided and, I think, to a ­certain extent, I got cocky."

SEE: Al Roker's wife films inside beautiful family home

al roker kids

Al maintains a healthy lifestyle for himself and his family 

It was an incredibly tough time for Al, but with the support of his family and friends, he got back on track. 

Today, he lives a healthy lifestyle and maintains his 190lb frame with a balanced diet, exercise and an amazing wife who has stood by him for 26 years. 

"She's my rock," he admits. 

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