Heavin originally took over a fitness center in Houston, Texas. This business venture was unsuccessful, and he filed for bankruptcy. He also divorced his first wife and had custody of his children. He would later remarry.
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 for pro-life causes.
In 2004 Heavin was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. According to Guinness World Records, Heavin's company Curves is the fastest growing franchise ever. He is also the author of several books, including Curves: Permanent Results Without Permanent Dieting and Curves On the Go.
Heavin along with his wife Diane opened their first Curves center in 1992 in Harlingen, Texas. His wife Diane is an exercise enthusiast and advertising executive, and diane Magazine affiliated with Curves bears her namesake. Curves is now based in Waco, Texas, has over 9,000 locations and is currently the largest fitness chain in the world.