Thanks for the pointers sleepingdog. I guess I'm like you in that I carry most of my fat around the abdomen as well. I don't mind the "inaccurately high" measurement for now (but I will ask her to help me out down the road). Right now it is just a reference point for measuring progress. I'm actually more focused on the 12 mm measurement rather than the 17.8 % bf reading.
I do full body circuits for cardio 3-5 times a week.
My diet is not too rigid now. As you said, it is better to tweak and adjust as you go along, rather than jumping in to a strict diet that you can't adhere to.