Checklists help me keep to my routines as I should. But they also show when I am not following those routines consistently. I have fallen away from my good habits.

A recent letter to the editor of a medical journal listed a number of studies that showed that patient education is a waste of money. See, people don’t make the changes they should. They don’t stop smoking, they don’t start exercising, they don’t cut back on saturated fat and increase fiber.

Actually, I did make changes. I cut out simple carbs and switched to clean eating. I exercised regularly — still do, actually. I lost more than 100 pounds.

But it’s hard to keep it up and easy to backslide. In this case, I think it was triggered by the dental issues. I had to eat soft foods. That started with oatmeal and scrambled eggs and soup, and moved on to pasta and ice cream. Although it has been nearly a month since I got the second device, I’m still using the first device most of the time. The second one still causes pain. I haven’t been brave enough to wear it each day all day till I get used to it. I’m used to the first one.

So here I am with my Blue Apron box in the house, lots of lean protein and veg, and yet I cook an egg for dinner. Followed by ice cream. Comfort food is more comforting and easier than searing salmon and roasting broccoli.

I’m sleeping less than 8 hours a night. I’ve had 4,208 average steps for the past 28 days — a 41% increase over the previous 28 days which included the treatment period, but still way too low. I’m doing my Wii Fit 3-5 days a week, not 5-7. I’m doing strength training once or twice, not three times.

I’m also skimping on housekeeping and skincare.

Here’s what I have to do: I have to declare an end to recuperation (possibly after spending a week of full days with the second appliance) and then I have to put intense effort into getting back into good habits.

Because lifting weights while the salmon and broccoli are in the oven will not become as easy as relaxing on the sofa with spaghetti and meatballs followed by ice cream.

Developing habits requires an effort on the front end. Then the momentum keeps you going. Salmon and broccoli tastes better, too, after some time without relying heavily on ice cream.

We had a great rehearsal this morning with the guy I really hope the committee chooses for our choir director. I sang Messiah under him many years ago and he’s quite brilliant. Also talented and a truly nice guy.

Following the rehearsal, I picked up Chinese food and went to #1 daughter’s place.

We have the idea to use Magnetic Poetry for our Instagram account.

Not as easy as we thought.

We will keep trying.

On arriving home, I cut out the Victoriana T but then cooked that egg, ate ice cream, and settled on the sofa with my Zombie sewing project. Nothing wrong with the, but not what I had planned.

That’s the thing about the bad habits. Am I backsliding because my poor habits are sapping my energy? They’re actually not that bad. But am I relying on comfort food and taking things easy because I’m still recuperating and thus have low energy?

I will follow through on my plan beginning on the 28th — a full month from the second appliance. The dentist told me on that day that I was much healthier than before the oil surgery. Not more energetic, though.