From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
a free shot sometimes give a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly played.
You don't have to play golf to understand the concept of a "mulligan". It is Monopoly's "Get Out of Jail Free Card". Or when the spinner in the game of Life catches on the peg between two numbers, forcing a new spin.
Okay, but those are just simple board games. Well, what about when you are speeding down the interstate and suddenly a patrol car pulls up behind you, red and blue lights flashing. And the officer just gives you a warning. Or having an imminent deadline on a major project that you are not even close to completing and the boss calls you to tell you that the deadline has been moved out a month. Maybe it is the doctor's office calling you with news that the suspicious mole that had him worried was found to be absolutely benign.
Mulligans are real. They happen, but in almost every instance, they happen outside our control. In golf, they happen when your playing partners agree to give it to you. Or the officer decides that he/she does not want to issue you a speeding ticket. Even the "Get Out Of Jail Free Card" is given to you by random chance.
But we all have the chance to grant ourselves a mulligan. We can decide that enough is enough and we are having a "do-over". We might change our eating habits. Change our patterns of activity. Spend more time with family and friends. Buy a bike. Learn to run. But we give ourselves the mulligan.
Beginning a weight management journey is a major mulligan. It is the opportunity to recreate who we are, and possibly make ourselves into who we want to be. We make the choice; it cannot be not thrust upon us. We choose the specific path we wish to take (although the path is never exactly as expected, nor as short as desired.)
And when you begin that journey to self-growth, if you have a bad day--or bad week--you don't quit the journey. You reach into your emotional golf bag and pull out another mulligan. You just start over. Don't berate yourself for poor willpower, or lack of motivation. Simply say to yourself, "That was a bad shot. I'm taking a mulligan" and move on.
Enjoy the day! Play your way through the game, and do not let anyone hold you back.