Heavin dropped out of college at age 20 and took over a failing fitness center in Houston, Texas. Along with his brother David, he built the business into a chain of 14 locations. He was a millionaire by age 25 but then lost it all by age 30; he filed for bankruptcy.
After his first marriage, Heavin was sentenced to jail for failure to pay child support. While in jail he rededicated his life to Christian values, and he has been outspoken about his support of pro-life causes.
In 2004 Heavin was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is also the author of several books, including Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting and Curves On the Go.
By 2007, Curves had over 10,000 locations and was the largest fitness chain in the world. However, since selling Curves to North Castle Partners, a private equity company, more than 75% of the Curves franchises have closed. North America is now the home of approximately 600 Curves franchises.
Gary and Diane Heavin have recently began to produce "movies that make a difference." Mission Air is a Christian movie that has been available since 2013. Amerigeddon is an action adventure film that opened in 30 theaters on May 13, 2016.
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- "Curve Ball". Salon.com. May 19, 2004. Retrieved March 15, 2010.[permanent dead link]
- Rosen, Ruth (April 29, 2004). "What's wrong with Curves?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
- "What I read". USA Today. May 3, 2007. Retrieved March 15, 2010.