Micah and I recently had the opportunity to travel to Iceland for the first ever WBFF European Championships in November 2011. Over the course of the weekend we got to meet and interview many of the athletes who competed. There was one young lady that captured my attention immediately. She had such a sweet and positive energy about her, you could tell she was so excited to compete and be a part of the WBFF, her name is Fiola Biork. When I saw her first come out on stage, I actually got goosebumps because she reminded a little bit of myself back when I first started competing! Fiola rocked the stage that night, she was full of energy, had a beautiful set of abs and gorgeous smile that set her out as the leader of the pack in a tough line up of amazing women. She landed first place in the Diva Fitness Model Tall category and won her WBFF Pro card! Fiola is a rising star, so I wanted to formally introduce her to you so you could get to know this Icelandic beauty!! - Diana
WBFF Pro Diva Fitness Model Fiola Biork
Hi there! My name is Fjóla Björk and I am 22 years Icelandic girl, fitness trainer, fashion designer and WBFF Pro Diva Fitness Model. I was raised in Iceland but I moved to Denmark to study Design Technology and Business. Currently I am doing a fashion design internship in London and working as online personal trainer.
Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up, what was life like for you as a kid, when and how did you discover the world of fitness?
I was raised in North Iceland, with a lot of snow, mountains, sea, northern lights, fresh air, clean water and wild nature. I come from a really creative family and I would spend hours in my room when I was young, just making something, knitting, gluing paper, making cards, sewing clothes for my dolls… My grandmother was a sewing teacher and I inherited her sewing things, and started designing and making clothes young of age. I had a blog when I was 16 years, where people could order specially made garments, sewn or knitted, and look at pictures of my design.
My mom has influenced me to be healthy and fit all my life, to eat a lot of veggies and fruits, and fish. In Iceland we get new fish from seamen, and she makes the most delicious healthy fish meals with a lot of veggies. I believe that “you are what you eat” so this food has made me the person I am today, strong and super healthy! The Icelandic swimming pools are always outside and the water is warm, so my mom and I would go swim a kilometer every night, enjoying the view, fresh clean air and mild warmed water.
I studied design, textile and business in Iceland and then moved to Denmark to study it further. To make myself busier (and wiser hopefully), I took courses in personal training, fitness nutrition and fashion/image styling.
When I was 18 years old, the owner of a gym, who was a president of IFBB in Iceland, asked if I wanted to compete in Model Fitness and I had no clue what kind of competition it was or what it involved, but I was up for it anyway, just if he could tell me what I should do. I placed 6th, and I was hooked. I competed again, placed 3rd, again placed 2nd, and again and placed 1st.
Then I found WBFFs homepage and felt like this would suit my style much better than IFBB. WBFFs homepage was so alive and fresh, videos and portfolios of their athletes, showing personality and having real fun on the stage! The athletes were strong, lean and sexy, but still looked healthy and natural. WBFF promoted their athletes really well and I dreamt about being a part of this federation and competing at their shows and get to know these super athletes! The only thing was, WBFF was not in Europe at all at that time, but I registered anyway to a competition in Vancouver, Canada. When I was in Denmark two days before the competition, on the way to the airport, I got bad news; all flights were cancelled, because of ash from a volcano in ICELAND. I tried to find other flights but everywhere, they were cancelling flights, except from ICELAND! I missed out of the competition that year, but everything happens for a reason..
Year later, my best friend Youssef and I, were on the plane to Quebec, Canada for a WBFF show. I got really sick with flue two days before the show and had to cancel all photo shoots, but I was NOT going to skip the competition. Somehow I managed to feel all right during the show, I had so much fun, met great people and placed 5th!
When I got home, I wanted nothing more then go for another WBFF show, but I knew it would be a long time until I would have enough money for another trip to Canada. Then I got a phone call from my friend Gunnar Sig in Iceland. He told me that WBFF was coming to Europe, and the first European Championship would be held in Iceland! I decided that NOTHING would go wrong this time, I imagined placing 1st and winning a pro card, winning the first WBFF show held in Europe, in my home country Iceland. That would be a dream come true! And it came true.
You recently achieved your WBFF Pro Status in Iceland. What was that experience like for you? You were so emotional when you found out you had won, what was going through your mind at that moment?
It was crazy and the show was amazing. I had so much fun backstage and loved being on stage. The girls I was competing with looked like superstars and I felt like I had nothing on them really, but kept my head up high with my eye on the goal, to win. The judges must have liked my Duracell Bunny outfit. Seriously, this was my dream come true and a prof that hard work and believing in your self pays off. Even having to fight my way for 2 years to make it happen! I started crying when I knew I had won.
What are you most passionate about?
I am most passionate about making the most out of life, by deciding what I want and MAKE IT HAPPEN!
What is one big dream that you have for yourself that you haven’t achieved yet?
One big dream that I am most passionate about right now is making my own clothing brand. It is going to be the most amazing look for fitness athletes specially, creating a new fit stereotype. It is going to be the hottest new trend. Think about eighties fitness fashion, no of course not that again, but think about a new style that is made specially for that target group and people will start training, just to be able to dress this way. The style will be sexy but oh so sophisticated, laid back but going forward, passionate but careless, messy but somehow so neat. It will be so much fun to put together your style with couple of pieces from the collection and look awesome!
Do you have any “aha” moments that were instrumental in change that you made in your life?
Yes big time. “AHA” I am responsible for what ever happens in my life and I can do what ever I want; make all my dreams come true. Even when you don’t succeed at first or even couple of times, it just means that you have to learn by the experience, change what went wrong, and try harder. J If you really believe in yourself, do what you need to do, and work as hard as you have to, then it is going to happen, no matter what it is.
What type of a support system do you, or have you had throughout your journey in the fitness industry?
I surround myself with similar minded, hard working people. I try to inspire people to find their passion by encouraging them to do things they like and compliment them for what they are doing. It means the world to people to be appreciated and that can really lighten them up to work hard.
What or who inspires you to compete or be an athlete?
All people go through life, trying a lot of things, some things they like and other things they don’t. It’s all about finding these things you like and keep on doing it! Don’t waste your life doing something you don’t like. I have this crazy passion about health and fitness, training, competing and helping people to get healthier and stronger.
Give a brief overview of your diet and training.
Diet is really important to me. I can feel how food infects my body and feelings. For example, I get depressed if I eat sugar and processed food, honestly. If I start eating sugar, I crave for more sugar and start feeling like I don’t have any control over myself. And it really infects my mood; I become tired, sad and unhappy with my body. That is not the person I want to be, so I try to stay away from all processed food and specially sugar. I feel good, strong, lean and happy when I eat raw food, vegetarian food and lean protein sources like chicken, fish and eggs.
My training offseason is heavy weight training, and not so much cardio. I warm up with 5 minutes jogging and then I take two muscle groups and destroy them!! I love leg workouts the most; I start with 16 reps squat, then 6-8 reps for 3-4 sets. Then I do lunges, start with 16 reps and then 6-8 reps for 3-4 sets and then I do stiff legged deadlift and sometimes leg press or the usual deadlift. I don’t stop until I am sure I have smashed these muscle fibers completely and that I will have a hard time walking tomorrow!
You recently place very well in the Status Fitness Magazine Cover Girl competition. Can you tell us a little bit about what that whole experience was like? What tips do you have for girls who dream of having an opportunity such as this?
The experience was “surprising” all the time. I was surprised that I got into finals. I was surprised that I got so many votes. I was really surprised that I placed 3rd and got a whole page feature in Status Fitness! It was not as hard as I would have thought. The nr. 1 tip is being really active; letting people know of you, send emails, find good contacts, always be super nice and ask for support. People love to help!
I believe that being afraid makes bad things happen to you. Just like being excited, makes good things happen to you. Always be positive and then, even if something bad happens, you will just laugh at it or even not notice it! The mind is your tool to create your life.
What are your future goals?
Developing PT business and fitness clothing brand, travel, fitness modeling, have a nice family and children!
Tell us a funny story about you, not necessarily related to fitness J
When Youssef and I were going to compete with the WBFF, we booked flight to Quebec, where we understood the competition would be held. When we finally were there, after 20 hours travelling, we got into a cap and asked him if he could take us to the hotel, please. He said he definitely could but that would be a long ride because we were in Quebec City, but the hotel was is Gatineau, in Quebec province, 5 hours away by car! It was late and no flights until the day after, so we just took the taxi anyway. It was a long and expensive taxi ride! But really nice one, we drove through Quebec City, Montreal and other really nice cities on the way, beautiful at nighttime..
How can people find out more about you?
Anyone you would like to thank who has been a part of your fitness journey?
Yes that would be Youssef Badran. When I moved to Denmark, I applied for a job in City Fitness where Youssef is a leader. He hired me and we became best friends, training, dieting, studying, competing, travelling together.. We have been through a lot together, good times and bad, supporting and inspiring each other every minute. J
For more information on the WBFF shows throughout the US, Canada and Europe visit www.WBFFshows.com